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    Seven Patriots named to AFC Pro Bowl

    The NFL has released the AFC and NFC rosters for the Pro Bowl, and seven Patriots have been chosen: Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Matthew Slater.

    Six of the seven were also Pro Bowlers last year; only Mayo was not, though he was in 2010.

    Gronkowski, Mankins, Mayo and Wilfork are designated as starters, while Brady and Welker are backups. There is only one player from each conference recognized for his special teams play, with Slater getting the nod there.


    Peyton Manning, who led all players in fan voting, is the AFC starting quarterback.

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    This is the eighth time Brady has been a Pro Bowler; it is the fifth for Mankins, Welker and Wilfork, and the second each for Gronkowski, Mayo and Slater.

    The Pro Bowl is set to be played Jan. 27, on the Sunday between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.