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Grunhard named Pro Bowl replacement

KANSAS CITY, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Center Tim Grunhard of the Kansas City Chiefs, who just completed his 10th season in the NFL, Wednesday was named a replacement player on the AFC Pro Bowl roster.

Grunhard replaces Tom Nalen of Denver, who was scheduled to start for the AFC, but will be unable to make the trip to the Feb. 6 contest in Honolulu after undergoing surgery.

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Kevin Mawae of the New York Jets now becomes the starter, with Grunhard the backup.

The 6-2, 311-pound Grunhard will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. Selected by the Chiefs in the second round of the 1990 draft out of Notre Dame, he has started 149 of his 154 career games, including a current string of 112 straight since the 1993 season opener against Tampa Bay.

"I have waited a long time for this," Grunhard said. "It's a great honor. I promised the Notre Dame Club of Hawaii after I played in the Hula Bowl after my senior year that I'd be back, but I didn't think it would take 10 years. It's really a tribute to my teammates that I'm going to the Pro Bowl after all these years."

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Grunhard, who also has started all 10 Kansas City playoff games since 1990, is the fourth Chief to earn a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster, joining tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback James Hasty and right guard Will Shields.

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