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Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. to play in Pro Bowl

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants walks off the field following a victory over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Mike Stobe

Odell Beckham Jr. is a Pro Bowler.

The Giants' rookie receiver was promoted from first alternate to full-fledged participant on Wednesday after Lions receiver Calvin Johnson backed out of the game with an injury.

"It's definitely awesome," Beckham said in a statement. "It's something that means a lot to me, and I'm definitely going to cherish the moment. I'm very excited to be going to the Pro Bowl."

Beckham is the first Giants rookie receiver to appear in the game. He's the first rookie Pro Bowler at any position for the Giants since tight end Jeremy Shockey in 2002.

It caps a record-setting season for Beckham, who had 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns despite playing in only 12 games. His one-handed catch against the Cowboys is considered by many to be the best play of the 2014 NFL season.

"The goal [entering the season] is to be either in the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl," Beckham said. "That is every year. That is something you want to be able to build on and put that on your resume. [We] didn't end up making it to the Super Bowl, but I did get the invite to the Pro Bowl, so I am very excited and blessed for the opportunity."

The other wide receivers scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl are Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, Dallas' Dez Bryant, Cincinnati's A.J. Green, Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton, Green Bay's Jordy Nelson, Atlanta's Julio Jones and Denver's Demaryius Thomas. This will be the second year that the Pro Bowl teams are not determined by conference but instead chosen by captains.

The game will be played on Jan. 25 in Glendale, Ariz., site of the Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

"It's exciting just being able to learn from them and see them every day," Beckham said of his fellow Pro Bowlers.

"They are some of the best in the league, and it is definitely going to be an experience that is going to be one to remember."

Given the rate of attrition for the Pro Bowl and the fact that one or more of the wide receivers who were voted onto the team could play in the Super Bowl instead, Beckham knew he had a good shot to make the trip as an alternate.

"I definitely thought there was a chance I would play [in the game]," Beckham said. "I wish I would have made the team originally and not as an alternate, but that's OK. That's something to work for next year."

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