Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy. File/Press-Gazette Media
The Green Bay Packers won’t be shut out from the Pro Bowl, after all.
Rookie running back Eddie Lacy will replace Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 after Peterson dropped out due to injury.
Lacy was originally selected as a first alternate after setting the Packers' rookie records for rushing yards (1,178), rushing TDs (11) and rushing attempts (284) and tied the team’s rookie mark for 100-yard rushing games (four).
He led all NFL rookies and ranked No. 8 among all players in rushing yards. He also was the cornerstone of the Packers’ revamped rushing offense, which jumped from 20th to seventh in the NFL this season.
Lacy’s selection also means the Packers will avoid being shut out from the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2005.
“I was extremely excited to hear that I am getting to go to the Pro Bowl after my rookie season,” Lacy said in a statement released by the team. “I feel like it gives me a great opportunity to thank my teammates, especially the offensive line, and coaches, for working with me and helping me accomplish what I did on the field this year.”
The Packers have seven other players who were selected as alternates: quarterback Aaron Rodgers, fullback John Kuhn, outside linebacker Clay Matthews, receiver Jordy Nelson, guard Josh Sitton, and cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams.
Lacy becomes the first Packers rookie running back to be selected to the Pro Bowl since John Brockington 1971 and first overall since Ahman Green in 2004.
“He became the type of runner we thought he was,” running backs coach Alex Van Pelt said last week. “That showed up on tape on Sundays. His toughness, I didn’t know much about. He showed me a lot of heart this year coming back from injuries that he did, playing through them and playing well through them. His knowledge of the game, that was impressive for him to pick up protections as quick as he did."
Packers Pro Bowlers since 2004
2013: RB Eddie Lacy
2012: *LB Clay Matthews, *QB Aaron Rodgers, C Jeff Saturday, G Josh Sitton
2011: WR Greg Jennings, *FB John Kuhn, LB Clay Matthews, DT B.J. Raji, QB Aaron Rodgers, C Scott Wells, CB Charles Woodson
2010: *T Chad Clifton, *S Nick Collins, *WR Donald Driver, *LB A.J. Hawk, *WR Greg Jennings, *LB Clay Matthews, *CB Tramon Williams, *CB Charles Woodson
2009: S Nick Collins, LB Clay Matthews, QB Aaron Rodgers, *CB Charles Woodson
2008: S Nick Collins, CB Al Harris, *CB Charles Woodson
2007: T Chad Clifton, WR Donald Driver, *QB Brett Favre, CB Al Harris, DE Aaron Kampman
2006: WR Donald Driver, DE Aaron Kampman
2004: RB Ahman Green, FB William Henderson, G Marco Rivera, WR Javon Walker
*-selected, but did not play
email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.