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That recognition schedule just got accelerated as Daniels was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster as a replacement for Gates.
Daniels will be joining two other Texans in Hawaii. Receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams were elected as starters.
The Texans said they now rank as the only team in the league with three players from the 2006 draft class -- their first with Gary Kubiak as coach -- heading to the Pro Bowl.
Daniels ranked second in the AFC among tight ends in receiving yards (862) and first downs (46) this season, trailing only Gonzalez in both categories. He also ranked in the top five among AFC tight ends in receptions (third, 70), receiving yards per game (third, 53.9) and yards per reception (fourth, 12.3). Daniels and Johnson formed the most prolific receiver-tight end pairing in the NFL with a combined 185 receptions and 2,437 yards.