By Barry Wilner
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson want to cap their sensational comebacks with Super Bowl appearances. For now, they can be proud of Pro Bowl spots.
So can Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of two rookies chosen Wednesday for the Jan. 27 NFL all-star game.
Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations.
“I know there’s great players out there in the NFL, but there’s some great players on this team this year that deserve to go,” said Manning, whose 12th Pro Bowl is a record for quarterbacks. He ranks fourth in league passing this year, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Four other Broncos made the AFC roster: DE Elvis Dumervil, linebacker Von Miller, CB Champ Bailey and tackle Ryan Clady. Bailey’s 12th appearance is a record for defensive backs.
Minnesota’s Peterson tore up his left knee on Christmas Eve last year, underwent major surgery, then was back for the season opener. He’s gone from uncertain to unstoppable, running away with the rushing title with a career-high 1,898 yards and lifting the Vikings toward an NFC wild card.
“Coming into the season after going through the rehab process, I just told myself that I wanted to lead my team to a championship and make sure that I contribute and do my part,” Peterson said. “I’ve been doing it.”
Other former Sooners joining Peterson in the Pro Bowl will be Washington tackle Trent Williams and Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy.
Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle.
San Francisco had the most players selected, nine, including six from its second-ranked defense. Houston was next with eight, six on offense.
Kansas City had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.
Detroit WR Calvin Johnson is heading to Honolulu after breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez set the record for Pro Bowls at his position by being chosen for the 13th time.
The league’s top two sackmasters, DEs Aldon Smith of San Francisco and J.J. Watt of Houston, were first-time selections. Watt has 20 1-2 sacks, one ahead of Smith; the NFL record is 22 1-2.
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