Henderson And Walker Named To First Pro Bowl; Green And Rivera To Make Return Trip; Eight Other Packers Named As Alternates
In marking the first such honor for each player, fullback William Henderson and wide receiver Javon Walker were named to the NFC squad for the 2005 Pro Bowl, the National Football League announced Wednesday.
Also elected to professional football's all-star contest were running back Ahman Green and guard Marco Rivera, for the fourth and third consecutive years, respectively, giving the Packers a total four players voted for the honor.
The selection is especially rewarding for Henderson, now in his 10th season in the league. Last Sunday he broke Howard Griffith's NFL record among fullbacks by blocking for a 1,000-yard rusher in a seventh overall season. The University of North Carolina product has paved the way for such seasons for Green (2000-04) and Dorsey Levens (1997, '99).
Walker's honor comes during a superb third NFL season. He currently stands second in the conference in receptions (81) and receiving yardage (1,210), and is tied for fourth in receiving TDs (10). Walker was GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman's initial first-round pick, the Packers trading up to select the standout Florida State player in the 2002 NFL Draft.
Green, meanwhile, becomes only the second Packers running back to be named as many as four consecutive seasons, joining Jim Taylor, who was named to five straight contests (1960-64).
Rivera, a seven-year starter, is the first Green Bay offensive lineman to be named to the Pro Bowl three consecutive seasons since Gale Gillingham in 1969-71. Two years ago, he was the first Packers offensive lineman to be accorded Pro Bowl selection since Larry McCarren in 1983. One of the most durable performers in Packers history, Rivera has maintained a 97-game starting streak, second on the team to only Brett Favre (203).
Eight other Packers were named as alternates on the NFC squad, including quarterback Brett Favre, guard Mike Wahle and cornerback Al Harris.
The others include tight end Bubba Franks, wide receiver Donald Driver and tackle Chad Clifton on offense, linebacker Nick Barnett on defense and placekicker Ryan Longwell.
Franks, Barnett and Longwell also were named alternates last season, with Franks eventually getting called up to play in the game. Two other alternates last season, center Mike Flanagan and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, played in the contest as well.
In all, three of the eight Packers alternates played in the all-star game last year.
The game will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, Feb. 13.