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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Brian Dawkins adds to Pro Bowl total

By Bill Williamson

It is fitting that Brian Dawkins’ final game could be played in Hawaii.

The Denver safety was named to the Pro Bowl on Thursday, replacing Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu because of an injury. It is Dawkins’ ninth Pro Bowl — tied with John Lynch for the second-most career Pro Bowl berths by a safety.

Expect Dawkins, 38, to try to play. He missed all but a quarter of Denver’s final five games because of a neck injury, but the injury has been improving steadily in the past few days. Dawkins, a potential Hall of Famer, wouldn’t have accepted the invitation if he wasn’t going to be cleared to play.

Dawkins told a Denver television station last weekend that he will consider retirement. He played the past three seasons with Denver and has been the team’s undisputed leader. Dawkins played well in 2011 when healthy, recording 51 tackles and three sacks.

Dawkins joins a strong Denver contingent — the team's most at the Pro Bowl since 2001 — for the Jan. 29 game in Honolulu. Running back Willis McGahee and tackle Ryan Clady were named to the team as injury replacements. Cornerback Champ Bailey, defensive end Elvis Dumervil and linebacker Von Miller are also representing the AFC West champions.