Williams Named Pro Bowl Starter

While the Vikings had three players named to the Pro Bowl last month, only one of those will be starting … for now.

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper, center Matt Birk and defensive tackle Kevin Williams last month were all named to the NFC's Pro Bowl team.

Of those, only Williams will be starting. Williams finished the season with 12 sacks, leading all defensive tackles, and received the most votes at his position in the Associated Press' All-Pro voting last week.

Chicago center Olin Kreutz got the starting nod in the Pro Bowl over Birk, who missed essentially five games with ankle and sport hernia complications.

Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb will start in front of Culpepper, even though Culpepper eclipsed McNabb's totals in most categories but wins.

Typically, a number of players decide not to attend the Pro Bowl, so it is possible that Culpepper or Birk would start in February's Pro Bowl. There is also a chance other Vikings, like cornerback Antoine Winfield, could be named as a substitute for the NFC squad if others decline the invitation.

The Vikings' opponent Sunday in the NFC Divisional Playoff round, Philadelphia, will have three starters on defense for the NFC's Pro Bowl squad. Free safety Brian Dawkins, strong safety Michael Lewis and cornerback Lito Sheppard were all named starters. Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens was also named a starter. Other Eagles named to the Pro Bowl squad but not starting are offensive tackle Tra Thomas, middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and special teamer Ike Reese.


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