DETROIT (AP) — Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Golden Tate have been added to the Pro Bowl.
Stafford replaces Peyton Manning of Denver, while Tate replaces Jeremy Maclin of Philadelphia.
Stafford finished the regular season with 4,257 yards passing, helping Detroit to its second postseason berth in four years. Tate made a huge impact in his first season with the Lions after signing as a free agent. He caught 99 passes for 1,331 yards, helping Detroit withstand injury issues that kept Calvin Johnson out for a month.
Manning said his right thigh injury hasn’t gotten much better in the week since the Denver Broncos were bounced from the playoffs by Indianapolis.
The five-time NFL MVP extended his QB record with his 14th Pro Bowl selection this season, tying center Bruce Matthews and tight end Tony Gonzalez for the most in NFL history.
Manning calls it “a great honor” to be selected to the game and he’s “always taken the obligation to play in it very seriously.”
“I’ve believed that, if healthy, it’s a player’s responsibility to play in the game because of what it means to be voted in by your peers and the fans,” Manning said.
“I’m disappointed that I’m just not healthy enough this year to be part of it. It’s going to be tough not being down there with the other guys, but it hasn’t had enough time to heal.”