5 Panthers selected to Pro Bowl


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Linebacker Luke Kuechly, defensive end Greg Hardy, center Ryan Kalil, fullback Mike Tolbert and quarterback Cam Newton will represent the Panthers in the 2014 Pro Bowl.

After having no Pro Bowlers last season, the five selections are the most for the Panthers since the team had seven in 1996.

First-time Pro Bowlers Kuechly and Hardy will represent Carolina's top-ranked scoring defense.

This will be Newton's second Pro Bowl appearance. He previously played as an alternate following his rookie season in 2011 when he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

In 2013, Newton has produced career-highs with a 62.1 completion percentage, 22 passing touchdowns and 89.2 passer rating. He's thrown for 3,230 yards and rushed for 513 yards with six touchdowns.

Kalil is making his fourth Pro Bowl appearance after being selected three consecutive years from 2009-11. He missed the final 11 games of the 2012 season with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot and has returned to start every game for Carolina in 2013.

Tolbert has earned his first Pro Bowl selection by scoring a team-high seven touchdowns (five rushing and two receiving) and thriving as Carolina's short-yardage and goal line back.

The Pro Bowl no longer features the AFC versus NFC matchup that has existed since 1971.

This year players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. Players will later be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, which will air on NFL Network on Wednesday, January 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 26 and televised live on NBC at 7 p.m. ET from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Story credit Panthers.com.