He was chosen to be a first alternate (along with fellow offensive lineman and rookie LT Matt Kalil), but that designation won't get Sullivan the $500,000 bonus built into his contract had he been voted onto the team.
Instead, Packers veteran C Jeff Saturday got the nod, but Saturday was benched last week and will be the team's backup when they play the Vikings in the Metrodome on Sunday.
Asked about not being selected to the Pro Bowl, Sullivan deferred the question and said now is not the time to talk about it. Sullivan wanted to focus on Sunday's game in which the Vikings need a win to get into the playoffs.
But coach Leslie Frazier was not so reticent to speak about that fact that the Vikings have a running back on the verge of a 2,000 yard season and none of the front linemen made the team.
“That's a little disappointing,” Frazier said. “I thought for sure that both John and Matt were worthy of being Pro Bowl players, and they have had Pro Bowl seasons. Our offensive line has a done a terrific job all season long, and I would like to have seen recognition for one or two of those guys on the offensive line. To be overlooked is a little disappointing.”
Pro Bowler quotes: RB Adrian Peterson was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl in six seasons, and while he's honored, he hopes he won't be attending:
“Well, I don't plan on going back [to Hawaii],” said Peterson, who has hopes of playing in the Super Bowl instead. “It's good to be selected to a fifth Pro Bowl. It was shocking that none of [the offensive line] made it, but it was just an honor to have that again.”
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Five-year FB Jerome Felton made the Pro Bowl for the first time and he was humbled and very grateful to be voted in by his peers and coaches. But he felt it could have been a possibility when he joined the Vikings as a free agent in the offseason.
“I knew if I could get in an offense that was committed to running the football and a team with a back of AP's caliber that the sky was the limit,” he said.
Running backs often treat their offensive linemen to something in thanks for a great season (such as Texans RB Arian Foster, who bought Segways for his offensive linemen). Peterson has flown his line to Hawaii for a Pro Bowl in the past, and is working on something for this season. So, what will rookie K Blair Walsh (who has been selected to the Pro Bowl) do for his LS Cullen Loeffler and H Chris Kluwe?
“I think AP's contract is for slightly more than Blair's so he might have a little more [funds] to play with,” Kluwe said. “I think it will end up he will take Cullen to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl and I will tag along and hang out. It will be a good time.”
Injury report: Peterson sat out practice for the second consecutive day Thursday with an abdominal strain. He said before practice that it is feeling pretty good, and Frazier expects to give him some work on Friday at practice.
DE Jared Allen returned to practice after being out with an illness on Wednesday.
CB Antoine Winfield did not participate in practice, suffering from a sore knee and broken hand, but he was on hand at practice.
DE Brian Robison, who missed the last game with a Grade 3 sprain of the AC joint in his shoulder, has been practicing this week in hopes of getting ready for Sunday.
“It went pretty well [Wednesday],” Robinson said. “We just did a little bit to test it out and did some things. It's still got a little ways to go to get the strength back, but overall it felt pretty decent.”
Robinson participated in drills on Thursday, but was still listed on the injury report as limited.
“Brian Robison is better, he's moving in the right direction,” Frazier said. “He was able to get a little more work in [Thursday]. We'll give him some more [Friday] and see how he does.”
Frazier said he doesn't have any concerns with any of the players for Sunday's game: “I think everyone will be ready to go,” he said.