Christmas came two days late for three Arizona Cardinals, but they’re certainly not complaining.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, safety Adrian Wilson, and kick returner Patrick Peterson were each selected to represent the NFC in the 2012 Pro Bowl on January 29 in Honolulu.
“We’re honored to have three guys…named to the Pro Bowl, especially Larry and Adrian were both chosen as starters,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt told the assembled media Tuesday evening. “I think that’s a tremendous recognition of what these players bring.”
It will be Fitzgerald’s sixth trip to Hawaii which ties him with Dan Dierdorf, Ken Gray, and Ollie Matson for most in Cardinals franchise history. Even with inconsistent quarterback play, Fitz is over 1000 yards (1,262) through 15 games and is averaging a career-high 17.8 yards per reception. He has eight touchdowns going into the season finale Sunday against Seattle.
Wilson, who has started all 15 games after tearing his biceps in training camp, earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection. The heavy-hitting safety has made 69 tackles, including eight for loss. He has also recorded a interception and forced one fumble. His 14 pass breakups leads the team.
“I want to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, and the whole organization for sticking with me and being patient with me,” Wilson explained. “This is much more about them than me.”
The rookie Peterson joins Johnny Bailey and Vai Sikahema as the only other Red Birds in franchise history to go as returners. The LSU product has flashed his big-play ability all year returning four punts for scores which ties the NFL single-season record. His 99-yard touchdown return in overtime to beat the Rams in overtime is the second-longest in league history.
Some believed defensive end Calais Campbell and second-year linebacker Daryl Washington could earn spots on the roster, but were not selected. Both could be added later due players withdrawing due to injury or other circumstances.
Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was selected as an alternate.