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David Johnson Leads Cardinals' Pro Bowl Trio

Posted Dec 20, 2016

Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson also selected to NFL's all-star game

Three Cardinals were selected to this year's Pro Bowl (from left): Running back David Johnson, cornerback Patrick Peterson and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Before the season started, Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell had a talk with David Johnson about the Pro Bowl.

“He let us know, with the success we had at the end of the year last year and the game plan, and thinking about how the season was going to be, he said I definitely had a good opportunity as long as I continued to do my job and grow and get better,” Johnson said.

Certainly, that’s exactly how it played out. Johnson, over 1,000 yards rushing and just 200 yards short of 1,000 yards receiving with two games left in the season, was selected for his first Pro Bowl Tuesday. He was one of three Cardinals picked.

The other two are Pro Bowl veterans: wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was named to his 10th Pro Bowl, and cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has been picked for the Pro Bowl in each of his six NFL seasons.

Five Cardinals were chosen as alternates: special teamer Justin Bethel, defensive  tackle Calais Campbell, guard Mike Iupati, linebacker Chandler Jones and cornerback Marcus Cooper.

The Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando, Florida, Jan. 29. The format is going back to the familiar NFC vs. AFC game after three seasons of having the teams get “drafted” by celebrity coaches.

Johnson became the first player in NFL history to have 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the first 14 games of the season when broke the century mark Sunday against the Saints. He has 17 touchdowns this season – tying the franchise record set by John David Crow in 1962 – to go with his 1,138 yards rushing and 800 yards receiving.

“It means a lot,” said Johnson, the first Cardinals running back to be picked for the Pro Bowl since Johnny Johnson in 1990. “It means all the hard work throughout the year the work I’ve tried to do to help the team has paid off, and its especially a good tribute to the guys up front who have been blocking for me, Carson (Palmer) for trusting in me, the coaches and B.A. (Bruce Arians), who have been putting me in the right spot to succeed.”

Fitzgerald has the most Pro Bowl selections in franchise history, and only Jerry Rice (13) has more Pro Bowl selections as a wide receiver in NFL history. Fitzgerald leads the NFL with 98 catches, for 949 yards and five touchdowns.

This season, Fitzgerald has moved into third all-time in NFL receptions, 10th in receiving yardage and eight in touchdown catches. He played in his 200th career game Sunday against the Saints.

Peterson makes the Pro Bowl for a fifth straight time as a cornerback after being selected as a kick returner in his rookie season of 2011. He joins Hall of Fame running back Ollie Matson as the only Cardinals in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons.

Peterson has three interceptions this season, and 20 in his career.

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