Anderson, Winslow go to Pro Bowl as Brady, Moss, Gates opt out
After throwing a league-record 50 touchdown passes during the season, Brady was battered by the New York Giants during their 17-14 win Sunday. He has been bothered by a tender ankle and was photographed in New York wearing a protective boot two weeks prior to the Super Bowl.
Moss, who caught a record 23 TD passes from Brady during the season, had five receptions for 62 yards and a TD in the Super Bowl. He will be replaced by disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson.
The Patriots said Brady and Moss each opted out because of ankle injuries.
Browns tight end Kellen Winslow will go in place of Gates, bringing the number of Browns players in the Pro Bowl to six, the club's most since sending six in 1994. Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Casey Hampton takes Williams' spot on the AFC roster, his third-consecutive trip to Hawaii and fourth overall.
Anderson, who began the season as Charlie Frye's backup, threw for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns while going 10-5 as a starter. Cleveland was edged out of a playoff spot because of a tiebreaker.
Despite playing on bad knees and with a separated shoulder, Winslow led the Browns with 82 receptions and had 1,106 receiving yards, the most by a Cleveland tight end. He'll undergo another surgery -- his fourth since 2004 -- on his right knee after the Pro Bowl.
Winslow had postponed the operation in anticipation of replacing Gates, who sustained a toe injury during the playoffs.
"We're excited the Browns will have such a presence at the Pro Bowl this year," general manager Phil Savage said in a statement.
Johnson, making the trip to the Pro Bowl for the fifth straight year, made it clear in interviews in Arizona leading up to the Super Bowl, he's unhappy in Cincinnati. The Bengals have said repeatedly Johnson, who has four years left on his contract, won't be traded. Johnson caught 93 passes for a club-record 1,440 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He will accompany teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who was picked for his first Pro Bowl. It will mark the first time a pair of Bengals receivers reached the Pro Bowl together.
Gates is still bothered by the left big toe he dislocated in San Diego's wild-card playoff win over Tennessee on Jan. 6. He was able to play in a divisional win at Indianapolis and the AFC Championship Game loss at New England.
Williams had been bothered by an ankle injury since December.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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