Panthers’ Steve Smith, Ryan Kalil make Pro Bowl


Left: Starting center Ryan Kalil. Right: Wide receiver Steve Smith.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Steve Smith is heading to his fifth Pro Bowl in late January, and center Ryan Kalil will make his first start on the NFC team in three appearances.

The NFL announced the Pro Bowl selections Tuesday night.

Smith will back up starters Calvin Johnson from Detroit and Larry Fitzgerald from Arizona.

Smith is having his best season since 2008, his last Pro Bowl campaign. His 1,308 receiving yards is fourth in the NFL.

Kalil will enjoy his third Pro Bowl in his five-year career. Kalil is the centerpiece of an offensive line that has helped make the Panthers third in the NFL in rushing this year.

The Panthers are also among the best in other offensive categories, including being fourth in total yardage and fifth in scoring.

San Francisco and New England each had the most Pro Bowl selections at eight. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will be the starting quarterbacks for the AFC and NFC, respectively.

Panthers QB Cam Newton was not named to the roster despite his record-setting performance as a rookie. The two other QBs on the NFC squad are Drew Brees of New Orleans and Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

The game takes place Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.

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