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Updated: January 9th, 2012 12:19pm
Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway named to Pro Bowl as alternate

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway named to Pro Bowl as alternate

by Tom Pelissero
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Chad Greenway is headed to his first career Pro Bowl.

Named an alternate last week, the Minnesota Vikings' strongside linebacker was added to the NFC roster after Chicago's Lance Briggs dropped out because of an injury.

That means the Vikings will send two members of the NFL's 21st-ranked defense to the game in spite of their 3-13 record. End Jared Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks, was on the original roster released last week.

"I'm excited to be going to the Pro Bowl, representing the Vikings and to be there with Jared," said Greenway, a sixth-year pro who has been an alternate in the past.

"I couldn't have done it without a lot of help and support from my teammates and coaches. Even though we didn't have the kind of season we wanted to as far as winning games, we have guys who are proud and want to get back to the top. I'm honored to be thought of as a Pro Bowler and will make the most of the opportunity."

Greenway, 28, was credited with a career-high 174 tackles (104 solo, 70 assists) in 2011. He also had 13 tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Still, the selection was a surprise, given that Greenway had a better season in 2010, statistics notwithstanding. He received a five-year, $41 million contract extension in September.

It's the second consecutive season the Vikings have had a linebacker added to the Pro Bowl roster as an alternate. Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson was named to the team last season, only to be deactivated for the game because another player decided to show up after all.

Rosters have been diluted in recent years by players dropping out as well as the rescheduling of the game for the week before the Super Bowl, wiping out all players from the AFC and NFC champions.

This year's game will be played on Jan. 29 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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