Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Chad Greenway, Matt Kalil, John Sullivan are Pro Bowl alternates

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 27, 2012 - 8:25 PM

Most NFL players love being picked for the Pro Bowl, but hate actually playing in the Pro Bowl. So alternates tend to have a very good chance of ending up in the game.

The Vikings have three alternates. They are linebacker Chad Greenway, who made his Pro Bowl debut last year; rookie left tackle Matt Kalil; and center John Sullivan, who would be making his first appearance.

Greenway's Pro Bowl debut came when he had 174 tackles a year ago. This year, he's even better with more big plays, not to mention a career-high and team-leading 181 tackles. He'll finish as the team's leading tackler for the fifth straight season, second-longest in team history behind the six straight years that Scott Studwell led the team in tackles.

Kalil has started all 15 games and hasn't had his name mentioned much in a long time. Unlike rookie QBs Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, not getting noticed sort of defines outstanding play for a rookie left tackle.

If Sullivan gets in, it would be his first Pro Bowl in a five-year career that's saw him go from being a sometimes overmatched smallish late-round draft pick early on to a legitimate long-term answer as Matt Birk's replacement. A Pro Bowl berth for Sullivan also would be a deserving feat considering he's the best and most consistent linemen on a team that has a running back that's 102 yards from becoming the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards.

Yesterday, it was announced the defensive end Jared Allen, kicker Blair Walsh, fullback Jerome Felton and running back Adrian Peterson had been voted into the Pro Bowl.

 

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