Defensive end Everson Griffen was named to the game for the first time on Thursday, as an injury replacement for the Texans' J.J. Watt, who is recovering from groin surgery. Griffen followed up his 12-sack season in 2014 with 10.5 in 2015, and was an alternate for the Pro Bowl in his sixth season.
The 28-year-old is in the second year of the five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed to stay in Minnesota before 2014. He had dealt with shoulder issues in the second half of the season, and coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday that Griffen might have offseason surgery if he didn't go to the Pro Bowl. Now Griffen figures to delay the operation so he can play in the Jan. 31 game in Hawaii.
Griffen, who became the first player in a Zimmer defense to post double-digit sacks in back-to-back seasons, joins Peterson, who was named a first-team All-Pro after leading the league in rushing.