By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -- Running back Joseph Addai earned his first Pro Bowl selection Tuesday, and safety Bob Sanders was one of four other Indianapolis players elected to represent the AFC.
Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning, center Jeff Saturday and receiver Reggie Wayne also made the team. Sanders, Wayne and Saturday were all named as starters for the Feb. 10 game in Honolulu.
"You can't get too focused about it," Sanders said last week in anticipation of his second career selection. "It's definitely great to get recognized by your peers and the fans."
Sanders returned from an injury in last season's playoffs and sparked a dramatic defensive turnaround.
He was the only Colts defender chosen. Known as one of the league's hardest hitters he has anchored the league's No. 1 pass defense as the Colts lost three starters from last year's Super Bowl winning team in free agency and three more -- defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, linebacker Rob Morris and former sacks champion Dwight Freeney -- to season-ending injuries.
Sanders ranks second on the team with 119 tackles, has 2 1/2 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery this season. But the most important contribution Sanders has made this season has been staying healthy. After fighting through injuries each of his first three seasons, Sanders has missed just one game this year and has excelled in his new role of playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
"I enjoy it," said Sanders, who made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2005. "It's definitely the strength of my game, being down in the box, and I've gotten a good grasp of seeing what's going on. It's been a lot of work."
Addai became the third Colts' running back to open his career with two straight 1,000-yard seasons. He ranks third in the NFL with 11 TDs rushing in his first season as Indy's feature back.
He was chosen over Jacksonville's Fred Taylor, a player who has never made it to Hawaii, even though coach Tony Dungy said Monday he thought Taylor deserved a Pro Bowl selection.
Addai also has 39 receptions for 351 yards and three TDs.
"I guess it doesn't always go to who is having the best year, and there are always guys who don't make it that should," Dungy said. "But Joe is having a great year, and you're always happy when your guys make it."
Manning, Wayne and Saturday were all expected to make the team.
Manning, who will not start this year, has made it to Hawaii eight times in 10 seasons and is closing in on yet another 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown season. He's also spent the season moving up on the NFL's career charts, ranking fourth in career TD passes (303) and ninth in yards passing (41,220).
Saturday is going to Hawaii for the third straight year after helping lead the Colts offense to its 10th straight 5,000-yard season.
Wayne is making his second straight appearance after breaking through in 2006. He has 82 receptions for 1,280 yards, second in the AFC, and five 100-yard games. It's the ninth straight year the Colts have sent a receiver to the Pro Bowl.
But this time, he will not be joined by the Colts other standby Pro Bowler -- Marvin Harrison. Harrison made eight straight Pro Bowl appearances between 1999 and 2006, the most of any Colts player in the Indy era. Harrison's season was derailed by a left knee injury in October. Harrison has missed the last eight games and nine of the last 10.
Only two Colts -- Gino Marchetti and John Unitas -- have been selected to more Pro Bowls than Harrison and Manning. Marchetti and Unitas each played in 10 Pro Bowls during the 1950s and 1960s when the Colts called Baltimore home. Marchetti also was selected an 11th time but did not play in 1958 and was not credited with an appearance.