In addition to the NFL's leading receiver, the 2010 Pro Bowl will now feature the league's passing yardage leader, as Texans quarterback Matt Schaub joins wide receiver Andre Johnson and three other teammates in Miami next week.
"It's an incredible honor," Schaub said. "It's the highest honor in my opinion you can get in this league. It says a lot about our team and what we were able to accomplish this year."
Schaub, who originally was named a second alternate, will play in the game a week from Sunday because Patriots quarterback Tom Brady bowed out Tuesday evening due to injury. First alternate Ben Roethlisberger is also out because of injury. Schaub said he was prepared to play, despite not seeing any game action since January 3rd.
"I started last week going in and working out a little bit, just in case a call came in, but also because I can't sit around for too long," Schaub said. "I took about a week and a half to two weeks off and just was itching to start working out again and at least just maintain some physical conditioning. It's different to get back out there and get ready for a game, but I don't think there will be too much rust."
It's the first selection for Schaub and also the first time a Texans quarterback will play in the contest. He, Peyton Manning of Indianapolis and Phillip Rivers of the Chargers are the quarterbacks for the AFC side.
Schaub was atop the NFL in passing yards with a career-best 4,770 this season, which was the sixth-highest total in league history. He finished in the top seven in attempts and completions (first), completion percentage (fourth), touchdowns (fifth) and passer rating (seventh). He had nine 300-yard passing games.
His 98.6 quarterback rating was the highest of his career, and also placed him among the league's top seven quarterbacks.
Schaub was able to put up those gaudy numbers even though the team's rushing attack was ranked 30th in the NFL with less than 93 yards per contest.
It was Schaub's third year in Houston and the Texans have gone 25-23 since he joined the club before the 2007 season.
"We've improved each and every year," Schaub said about his time with the club. "I think the details of our team and with the direction we're heading, we're light years ahead of where we were at the beginning of the 2007 season. I think that we made a huge improvement this year across the board as a team, both offensively and defensively, to where next year, barring injuries, that we can accomplish a lot more of our goals."
Also heading to Miami with Schaub and Johnson are defensive end Mario Williams and linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing.