ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Five Denver Broncos were named to the 2014 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced on Friday.
Quarterback Peyton Manning, kicker Matt Prater, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, tight end Julius Thomas and guard Louis Vasquez received invitations to play in the league’s annual All-Star Game that will be played on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu (5 p.m. MST kickoff, NBC).
In addition to the five selections, eight Broncos were named alternates for the Pro Bowl: guard Zane Beadles, special-teamer David Bruton, wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Knowshon Moreno, linebacker Von Miller, center Manny Ramirez, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and wide receiver Wes Welker.
The 2014 Pro Bowl will feature many significant changes, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders serving as alumni captains to help choose the rosters.
QB PEYTON MANNING
Manning’s selection is the 13th of his career, tying tight end Tony Gonzalez, wide receiver Jerry Rice and defensive end Reggie White for the second most in history behind center Bruce Matthews (14).
Joining former Broncos quarterback John Elway as the only signal callers to make multiple Pro Bowls for the club, Manning has completed 425-of-631 passes (67.4%) for 5,211 yards with an NFL-record 51 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (113.0 rtg.) this season.
K MATT PRATER
Prater was named to his first career Pro Bowl after connecting on 23-of-24 field goals and all 71 extra point attempts to rank second in the league with 140 total points scored. He also kicked the longest field goal (64 yds.) in NFL history in Denver’s win against the Titans (12/8).
He joins Jason Elam (1995, ’98, 2001) and David Treadwell (1989) as Broncos kickers that have made the Pro Bowl.
WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS
Thomas earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection to join former Broncos Brandon Marshall (2008-09) and Rod Smith (2000-01, ’05) as the only receivers in franchise history to be named to multiple all-star games.
He currently ranks in the Top 10 in the NFL in receptions (86, T-8th), receiving yards (1,317, 7th), receiving touchdowns (12, T-2nd) and 25-yard receptions (16, T-1st).
TE JULIUS THOMAS
Thomas is a first-time selection who joins Shannon Sharpe (1992-98), Riley Odoms (1973-75, ’78) and Dwayne Carswell (2001) as the only tight ends in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl.
After totaling just one catch for five yards through his first two injury-plagued NFL seasons, Thomas broke out in 2013 and through 15 games has record 60 receptions for 752 yards (12.5 avg.) with 12 touchdowns. His 12 receiving scores are the most by a tight end in a single season in franchise history.
G LOUIS VASQUEZ
Signed by the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in March, Vasquez was selected to his first career Pro Bowl. He joins teammate Zane Beadles (2012) and former Broncos Keith Bishop (1986-87) and Mark Schlereth (1998) as the only offensive guards in team history to make the Pro Bowl.
He has started every game this year and is the only Bronco who has played every possible snap (1,131) on offense or defense. He also has not allowed a sack on the season, according to STATS Inc.—one of just three starting NFL guards to accomplish that feat through 15 games.