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Long, Pennington thisclose to Pro Bowl

It occurred to me that while the Dolphins had two players selected to the Pro Bowl earlier this week, there was no news about their list of alternates.

I asked the NFL office for the list and they said it was up to the individual teams to release that information. I asked the Dolphins and they told me they were not going to release the names. So I decided to actually do some work.

And I have learned left tackle Jake Long was selected as a first alternate. And quarterback Chad Pennington was selected as a second alternate at quarterback.

"It is an honor," Long said today, "but I'm not thinking about that now."

Alternates go the Pro Bowl if the players picked as starters or reserves cannot play for medical reasons. So if starting tackles Jason Peters and Joe Thomas or reserve Michael Roos cannot play in Hawaii on Feb. 8, Long is on his way.

Peters, by the way, is not exactly cruising to the regular-season's finish line. He missed practice time this week while nursing a knee injury.

Pennington would need two quarterbacks to back out of the game before he gets a berth. The quarterbacks picked ahead of him are starter Peyton Manning, reserves Jay Cutler and Brett Farve and first alternate Phillip Rivers.