- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Detroit Lions will have a quarterback in the Pro Bowl for the first time in more than 40 years.
Matthew Stafford, who was named as a potential alternate when the initial Pro Bowl rosters were announced last month, was officially placed into the game as a replacement Sunday night.
Stafford completed 363 of 602 passes for 4,257 yards, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season. The 12 interceptions are a career-low for Stafford and his 60.3 completion percentage was the second-highest of his career.
He also led the Lions to their second playoff berth in four seasons.
Stafford's passer rating of 85.7 was his best since the 2011 season and his 55.1 QBR was an improvement from 2013. He also was sacked a career-worst 45 times.
He is the first Detroit quarterback to make the Pro Bowl since Greg Landry did in 1971. The other Lions quarterbacks to make the Pro Bowl were Bobby Layne, who made it five times, and Cotton Price, who was a tailback/defensive back/quarterback in 1940. This is according to Pro Football Reference.
Stafford made the game because Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning pulled out of the game. One of the potential replacements, Russell Wilson, won't play because Seattle will be in the Super Bowl and either Tom Brady or Andrew Luck will be unavailable for the game because either New England or Indianapolis will be in the Super Bowl.
This opened up room for Stafford in the Pro Bowl.
Stafford will join receiver Golden Tate and safety Glover Quin as Detroit's Pro Bowl representatives actually playing. Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh were selected to the game but pulled out due to injury.