METAIRIE, La. -- Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate for 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. It is his third Pro Bowl selection.
Vilma joins quarterback Drew Brees and guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks as the only Saints to be selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl honors come after Vilmas was named the Saints' Man of the Year last week. In addition to 105 tackles and four sacks, Vilma also played a big part both on and off the field in New Orleans' continuous recovery over the past year.
'It's always an honor to be elected to the Pro Bowl,' Vilma said. 'I thank the fans, the players of the NFL and the people around the league that thought highly enough of our efforts. There are a lot of guys not only on our team that are deserving of being in the Pro Bowl. I am grateful for the recognition and just want to express my gratitude.'
Willis underwent season ending surgery last week that should keep him out for six to eight weeks.
The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 30, one week before the Super Bowl.