49ers SS Antoine Bethea named to Pro Bowl

San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea, a two-time Pro Bowler with the Indianapolis Colts, has been named to this Sunday’s NFL All-Star Game in Arizona, the team announced Monday night.

Bethea is replacing Kam Chancellor, who will be playing for the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

The Niners’ first-year safety took to Twitter in response to his being named.

Bethea, who signed a reported four-year, $21 million free-agent contract with the Niners after eight years with the Colts, was named the 49ers’ MVP in voting by his teammates.

He finished with 86 tackles, a sack, one forced fumble, a career-high 10 passes defensed and a career high-tying four interceptions. Bethea also had his first career pick-6, a 49-yarder against the San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers on Dec. 20.

Two other 49ers were named initially in left tackle Joe Staley, his fourth selection, and left guard Mike Iupati, a three-timer. But Iupati, who will be a free agent, pulled out of the exhibition with an elbow injury suffered late in the season and has been replaced by Miami Dolphins guard Mike Pouncey.

The Pro Bowl draft will occur Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT with Hall of Fame receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter doing the picking with the game Sunday at 5 p.m. PT at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.