Bills running back Marshawn Lynch is headed to Hawaii for the 2009 Pro Bowl. The second-year back will be replacing Tennessee running back Chris Johnson, who had to pull out of the game due to a high ankle sprain suffered in the Titans playoff loss to Baltimore on Jan. 12.
Lynch, who was a first alternate, ranked fifth in the AFC in rushing in 2008 with 1,036 yards despite missing the season finale with a shoulder injury.
He’s the first Bills running back to go to the Pro Bowl since Travis Henry represented the AFC in 2002.
Buffalo’s run game was peaking in the second half of the season as the Bills, led by Lynch, ranked ninth in the league in rushing over the last eight games of the year. The Bills also ranked an impressive seventh in the NFL in yards per carry over that span gaining 4.7 yards a pop.
Not surprisingly, all three of Lynch’s 100-yard rushing games came in the last half of the season including a season-high 134-yard rushing day against San Francisco in Week 13.
Lynch also led the team in scoring with nine touchdowns and tied for fifth in the AFC in running back receptions with 47 as he took on more of an all-purpose role in 2008.
The Bills feature back and teammate Fred Jackson combined for the most receptions in the league by a running back tandem with 84.
Lynch will be the lone representative of the Bills in the game on Feb. 9 as Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters had to pull out of the game due to a late season knee injury.