The NFL announced several changes to the 2009 Pro Bowl rosters on Tuesday. Out are several veteran players who ended the season battling injuries. In are three injury replacements that include the top overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and a surprise quarterback who led his team to the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Dolphins rookie LT Jake Long, the top overall pick in last year’s draft, is replacing Jason Peters of the Bills on the AFC roster. Peters suffered a late-season knee injury for the Bills. Titans QB Kerry Collins will also take the place of the Jets’ Brett Favre, who has a torn biceps tendon that will not require surgery.
On the NFC roster, Packers CB Al Harris is replacing Asante Samuel of the Eagles, who has a neck injury.
Long, who started all 16 games for the Dolphins, becomes the first top overall pick to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie since New Orleans running back George Rogers in 1981. He’ll join teammates Joey Porter and Ronnie Brown in Hawaii. The other AFC tackles are Joe Thomas of the Browns and the Titans’ Michael Roos.
Collins will be making his second Pro Bowl appearance after taking over the starting duties for the Titans in Week 2 and leading them to a 13-3 record. He’ll be going to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1996, when he lead the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in his second season. Collins is one of six Titans on the roster, joining Roos, RB Chris Johnson, DT Albert Haynesworth, CB Cortland Finnegan and S Chris Hope.
Harris will make his second straight Pro Bowl appearance after being designated an alternate the previous three seasons. Harris is the third member of the Packers’ secondary to get Pro Bowl recognition — CB Charles Woodson and S Nick Collins were voted starters — but Woodson will be replaced by Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber. The Vikings’ Antoine Winfield is the other NFC cornerback.