Chris Johnson’s numbers dropped during the 2010 regular season but his place among the top players in football was reaffirmed Friday.
Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew, who will not take part because of an injury.
The Tennessee Titans’ running back also played in the league’s annual all-star game following the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In replacing Jones-Drew, he became the Titans’ first player since defensive end Jevon Kearse (1999-2001) to earn a Pro Bowl invitation in each of his first three seasons.
Johnson finished fourth in the NFL with 1,364 rushing yards and was tied for sixth with 11 rushing touchdowns as the Titans went 6-10 and missed out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season. His eight games of 100 rushing yards or more were tied for most in the league.
Those numbers paled in comparison to the previous season, when he ran for 2,006 and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. They still were better than those amassed by Jones-Drew (1,324 yards, five touchdowns), who missed the final two weeks with the same knee injury that ultimately kept him out of the Pro Bowl.
Defensive end Jason Babin and return specialist Marc Mariani were named to the initial Pro Bowl rosters.
That means the Titans will have at least three representatives in the game for the fourth straight season.
The Pro Bowl will be played Jan 30 in Honolulu, Hawaii.