New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been added to the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl roster.
Vilma replaces San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who has a broken hand that kept him out of his team’s regular season finale, and will keep him out of his fourth career Pro Bowl.
“It’s always an honor to be elected to the Pro Bowl,” Vilma said in a statement released by the team. “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.”
Vilma (6-1, 230) led the Saints with 105 tackles this season, adding four quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception as a captain of the NFL’s 4th-ranked defense.
This will be Vilma’s second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, and his third overall. Vilma went to his first Pro Bowl in 2005 as a member of the New York Jets.