Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons highlight Pro Bowl selections

Michael Vick rehabilitation in the fans eyes took another huge step today when he was named to his first Pro Bowl invite since returning to the league following his 18 months in federal prison for operating a dogfighting ring.

Vick, a Pro Bowler three times during his first six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, will start opposite New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady, who is the league’s top-rated passer (109.8), and the only player with more fan votes, than Vick.

The Atlanta Falcons were rewarded for their impressive season with a league-high seven Pro Bowl nominations. Roddy White, who has a league-best (and career-high) 109 receptions, will start at wideout for the NFC alongside the Detroit Lions‘ Calvin Johnson. Atlanta’s entire backfield; quarterback Matt Ryan, tailback Michael Turner and fullback Ovie Mughelli are all Hawaii-bound, as are tight end Tony Gonzalez, defensive end John Abraham and special teams ace Eric Weems also got the call.

The AFC team will have six Patriots players with linebacker Jerod Mayo, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, safety Brandon Meriweather and guard Logan Mankins (who missed the first seven games amid a contract impasse) joining Brady and McCourty.

Four teams, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, did not have any players nominations. Bills, Bgengals and Seahawks have been terrible this season, but the Bucs still have a shot at making the NFL playoffs and to not have any players nominated for the Pro Bowl is a major slap in the face for then.

AFC ROSTER (x-starter)
QB — x-Tom Brady (Patriots), Peyton Manning (Colts), Philip Rivers (Chargers)
RB — x-Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars), Jamaal Charles (Chiefs), Arian Foster (Texans)
FB — x-Vonta Leach (Texans)
WR — x-Andre Johnson (Texans), x-Reggie Wayne (Colts), Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs), Brandon Lloyd (Broncos)
TE — x-Antonio Gates (Chargers), Marcedes Lewis (Jaguars)
T — x-Jake Long (Dolphins), x-Joe Thomas (Browns), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets)
G — x-Kris Dielman (Chargers), x-Logan Mankins (Patriots), Brian Waters (Chiefs)
C — x-Nick Mangold (Jets), Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers)
DE — x-Dwight Freeney (Colts), x-Robert Mathis (Colts), Jason Babin (Titans)
DT/NT — x-Haloti Ngata (Ravens), x-Vince Wilfork (Patriots), Richard Seymour (Raiders)
OLB — x-James Harrison (Steelers), x-Cameron Wake (Dolphins), Terrell Suggs (Ravens)
MLB/ILB — x-Ray Lewis (Ravens), Jerod Mayo (Patriots)
CB — x-Nnamdi Asomugha (Raiders), x-Darrelle Revis (Jets), Devin McCourty (Patriots)
SS — x-Troy Polamalu (Steelers)
FS — x-Ed Reed (Ravens), Brandon Meriweather (Patriots)
K —Billy Cundiff (Ravens)
P —Shane Lechler (Raiders)
KR/PR — Marc Mariani (Titans)
ST —Montell Owens (Jaguars)

NFC ROSTER (x-starter)
QB — x-Michael Vick (Eagles), Drew Brees (Saints), Matt Ryan (Falcons)
RB — x-Michael Turner (Falcons), Steven Jackson (Rams), Adrian Peterson (Vikings)
FB — x-Ovie Mughelli (Falcons)
WR — x-Calvin Johnson (Lions), x-Roddy White (Falcons), DeSean Jackson (Eagles), Greg Jennings (Packers)
TE — x-Jason Witten (Cowboys), Tony Gonzalez (Falcons)
T — x-Jordan Gross (Panthers), x-Jason Peters (Eagles), Chad Clifton (Packers)
G — x-Jahri Evans (Saints), x-Chris Snee (Giants), Carl Nicks (Saints)
C — x-Andre Gurode (Cowboys), Shaun O’Hara (Giants)
DE — x-John Abraham (Falcons), x-Julius Peppers (Bears), Justin Tuck (Giants)
DT/NT — x-Jay Ratliff (Cowboys), x-Ndamukong Suh (Lions), Justin Smith (49ers)
OLB — x-Clay Matthews III (Packers), x-DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys), Lance Briggs (Bears)
MLB/ILB — x-Patrick Willis (49ers), Brian Urlacher (Bears)
CB — x-Asante Samuel (Eagles), x-Charles Woodson (Packers), DeAngelo Hall (Redskins)
SS — x-Adrian Wilson (Cardinals)
FS — x-Nick Collins (Packers), Antrel Rolle (Giants)
K —David Akers (Eagles)
P —Mat McBriar (Cowboys)
KR/PR —Devin Hester (Bears)
ST — Eric Weems (Falcons)

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