Ankle injury forces Johnson to withdraw from Pro Bowl

Rookie RB Chris Johnson will miss next Sunday's Pro Bowl while recovering from an ankle injury.
NASHVILLE, TN, Jan. 29, 2009 —Still not totally recovered from a sprained ankle suffered in Tennessee's AFC divisional playoff game vs. Baltimore, Titans running back Chris Johnson withdrew from the Pro Bowl on Thursday, giving way to Buffalo's Marshawn Lynch.

Johnson finished third in the AFC in rushing with 1,128 yards and 10 total touchdowns, joining Earl Campbell as only the second rookie running back in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl.

"I'd been rehabbing, trying to get better. I really wanted to play,'' Johnson told The Tennessean. "But I'm at the point where I really wouldn't be able to be myself. I haven't been able to cut on it.''

Eight Titans have been named to the Pro Bowl, including Johnson, center Kevin Mawae, offensive tackle Michael Roos, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, quarterback Kerry Collins, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, and safeties Chris Hope and Michael Griffin. Mawae is still rehabbing from an elbow injury and will not make the trip.

Lynch finished fifth in the AFC with 1,036 yards rushing and ninth with eight touchdowns in 15 games for Buffalo this season. Lynch was named a first alternate when the Pro Bowl selections were made last month. Buffalo's 2007 first-round draft pick out of California, Lynch will become the first Bills running back to reach the Pro Bowl since Travis Henry in 2002. Lynch will be the team's lone representative at the game to be played Feb. 8 at Honolulu after left tackle Jason Peters bowed out due to a knee injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report

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