Three Vikings were named to the Pro Bowl Tuesday as the league announced the starters and alternates for the all-star game in February.
Two Vikings -- guard Steve Hutchinson and defensive tackle Kevin Williams -- were named as starters. Center Matt Birk was named as a backup at center. A fourth Viking -- defensive tackle Pat Williams -- was named as a first alternate, but because one of the three DTs selected to play (Chicago's Tommie Harris) is out for the year, Big Pat will get the call.
For Pat Williams, the selection comes as a welcome addition to his resume. Three times with the Bills he was picked as a first alternate but didn't make the team.
Three other Vikings -- RB Chester Taylor, OT Bryant McKinnie and safety Darren Sharper -- were named as alternates.
* Cedric Griffin might not play Thursday night with a neck injury that has kept him out of practice this week. If he can't go, Fred Smoot would likely start in his place.
* Griffin was one of 10 Vikings on the injury report. Brooks Bollinger (shoulder) and Travis Taylor (ankle) are listed as questionable, while seven players -- Jeff Dugan (knee), Napoleon Harris (wrist), Chester Taylor (ribs), Pat Williams (knee), Marcus Robinson (hip), Kevin Williams (shoulder) and Tarvaris Jackson (knee) -- are listed as problable.
* The only Packers starter who is listed as questionable is offensive tackle Mark Tauscher.
* The Vikings placed DT Spencer Johnson on injured reserve Tuesday. The team signed wide receiver Martin Nance to the 53-man roster and signed offensive lineman Jimmy Martin to the practice squad.
* Confused about the playoff situation? The easiest way for the Vikings to make the playoffs is to win their two remaining games and get one loss from the Falcons, Giants and 49ers.
Three Named to Pro Bowl
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