By John Boyle Herald Writer
Last summer, nobody expected quarterback Russell Wilson’s rookie season to end with a trip to the Pro Bowl. Then again, few people even thought the third-round draft pick would be starting for the Seattle Seahawks.
But Wilson didn’t just win Seattle’s starting job in training camp, he went on to put together one of the best seasons ever by a rookie quarterback, and as a result, he’ll be heading to Hawaii to play on the NFC’s Pro Bowl team.
Wilson was added Monday as an injury replacement for Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, who suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s NFC championship game. Wilson was named a third alternate when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced last month, and joins first and second alternates Drew Brees and Eli Manning on the NFC team. They were added earlier to replace Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III, who will both miss the game because of injuries.
After a slow start to the season, Wilson and Seattle’s offense both picked up in the second half, and he finished with 26 touchdown passes, matching Peyton Manning’s rookie record. Wilson, who had 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half of the season, also rushed for four scores, making him the second rookie after Cam Newton to account for 30 total touchdowns. Wilson’s 100.0 passer rating was also the best by a Seahawks quarterback in franchise history, and would have also established an NFL rookie record if not for Griffin’s 102.4 rating.
“Everybody in this building, and everybody that follows us realizes what kind of player he is, and he’s just getting started,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said last week. “We can talk about Russell forever because there is so much to talk about. … Put him out on the field on game day, he’s a baller. He’s a real football player.”
Wilson joins five other Seahawks who were named to the NFC squad last month: left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger, who were both named starters, as well as running back Marshawn Lynch, safety Earl Thomas and kick returner Leon Washington.
Seattle also sent six to the Pro Bowl after the 2007 season, and had a franchise-best seven Pro Bowlers after the 2005 season.
Luck added to AFC team
INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was added to the AFC roster when New England’s Tom Brady pulled out with an undisclosed injury.
Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft and set NFL rookie records for attempts, yards passing and 300-yard games. He fell just short of the league’s rookie marks for completions and touchdowns.
Luck also won 11 games, the most by an No. 1 pick in the modern draft and tied an NFL mark by leading seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.