Peyton Manning, Peterson battle back from injuries to make Pro Bowl; Dawson, Thomas represent Browns

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sensational comebacks have Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson headed for the Pro Bowl.

Also selected Wednesday to the NFL's all-star game was Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Kicker Phil Dawson and offensive tackle Joe Thomas made the AFC Pro Bowl team for the Cleveland Browns.

Dawson earned his first selection in his 14th NFL season, while Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his six NFL seasons.

Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos on a 10-game winning streak to take the AFC West.

"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."

Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle. Luck and Wilson weren't voted to the Pro Bowl by players coaches and fans, although their teams are in the playoffs; Griffin can get to the postseason if Washington beats Dallas on Sunday.

"You can't play down those kind of things," Griffin said. "I've always said my whole football career that you don't play for awards. They just come. You don't say you're going to win the Heisman. You don't say you're going to win MVP. You go out and you prove it on the field, and if everyone feels that way then they'll give you that award."

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, despite its 2-13 record that is tied with Jacksonville for worst in the league, had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.

One other rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen. Walsh has nine field goals of at least 50 yards, an NFL mark.

Another record setter will be heading to Honolulu for the Jan. 27 Pro Bowl: Detroit WR Calvin Johnson.

Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.

Lewis activated by Ravens but won't play Sunday

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Linebacker Ray Lewis has been added to the Baltimore Ravens' 53-man roster, but coach John Harbaugh says the 17-year veteran will not play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 37-year-old was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list after tearing his right triceps on Oct. 14. He returned to practice on Dec. 5, and in order for him to be eligible for the playoffs, the Ravens had to add him to the active roster by Wednesday.

Baltimore cleared room for Lewis by placing wide receiver LaQuan Williams on injured reserve with a leg injury.

Lewis has missed nine straight games. He was eligible to return to game action two weeks ago, but he has some atrophy in his right arm after having surgery on Oct. 17.

Jets' Tebow insists he never asked out of wildcat

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Tim Tebow says he never asked out of running wildcat plays last week, but the New York Jets backup quarterback acknowledges that Rex Ryan may have misunderstood him.

Tebow says Wednesday that he told Ryan last Tuesday that he was "definitely disappointed" he wasn't going to be the starting quarterback in place of the benched Mark Sanchez and added that he told the coach he wanted to play "regular quarterback."

Tebow says he realized that Ryan might have misinterpreted his comments when he wasn't in wildcat packages, and reiterated to the coach last Friday he would do anything the team asked of him.

Tebow, who didn't play in Sunday's loss to San Diego, says what bothers him most is that his reputation and character were criticized.

Cowboys' Brent indicted in crash that killed teammate

DALLAS -- A grand jury in Texas has formally indicted Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent on one count of intoxication manslaughter.

Brent is charged in connection with a Dec. 8 crash that killed his friend and Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown. He is out of jail on $100,000 bond.

Dallas County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon says the indictment was returned Wednesday.

Police in the Dallas suburb of Irving say Brent was speeding when his vehicle struck a curb and flipped. Brown was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Intoxication manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Brent could be eligible for probation.

Denmon says no court dates have been scheduled.

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