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SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers had their lowest Pro Bowl representation since 2010, as offensive linemen Joe Staley and Mike Iupati were selected to the annual all-star game.
Staley was named the Pro Bowl team for the fourth time in his career. Iupati, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time.
“It means a lot,” Iupati said in a statement. “It’s all about that respect. You’ve just got to play. If you love playing the game, then people in front of you respect you as a player. It’s hard work.”
Said Staley, “It’s an honor. It’s nice to be respected by your fans and your peers.”
In addition to Iupati and Staley, the 49ers had five players named as alternates: safety Antoine Bethea, guard Alex Boone, rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland, running back Frank Gore and defensive lineman Justin Smith. Borland was placed on injured reserve last week with an ankle sprain.
This season marked the first time in Patrick Willis’ eight-year career that he was not chosen to the Pro Bowl. Willis played in just six games this season before opting for season–ending toe surgery.
The 49ers had 10 players chosen to the Pro Bowl last year, nine players in 2012 and eight in 2011.
The Pro Bowl will take place on Jan. 25 at University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona.