He was added to the AFC roster Tuesday, replacing Pittsburgh's Willie Parker. Parker broke a bone in his right leg last month and pulled out of the league's all-star game, allowing Taylor to get his first Pro Bowl invitation.
Taylor finished fourth in balloting last month and was made the first alternate. He initially thought he missed out on a trip to Hawaii for the 10th consecutive season. But then Parker injured his leg two days after rosters were announced.
"Whenever it came up, I said I'd cross that bridge whenever I get to it," Taylor said Tuesday. "Now it's here. It doesn't change my approach at all. My team has been excited ever since I guess they understood what happened to Willie that particular week."
Taylor ranks 17th on the NFL's all-time rushing list and had been the only player in the top 49 to never make it to Honolulu.
"I don't think it's going to do anything for us this week playing a team the caliber of the Patriots," he said. "It's good to see that it's there, but it doesn't change any of the routines."
Taylor ran for 1,202 yards this season and averaged a career-best 5.4 yards per carry -- better than AFC selections LaDainian Tomlinson, Joseph Addai and Parker -- and finished the regular season with five consecutive 100-yard games.
He also had two of the four longest runs in the league this season.
He ran 16 times for 48 yards and a touchdown last week at Pittsburgh before leaving the game in the fourth quarter because of leg cramps.
"Thankfully we won the game," Taylor said. "I don't think I ever would have forgiven myself for that. But it really didn't hurt us."
Taylor said he didn't know what caused the cramps, but added they became painful after he ran about 60 yards following one of Garrard's interceptions.
"I really locked up after that," Taylor said. "I'll just try to hydrate a little bit more, eat a little bit better. I thought I did everything by the book. It was just something that happened."
So he gladly accepted the offer Tuesday.
"He's very excited about receiving that honor," coach Jack Del Rio said. "We're happy for him. Fred's been one of the all-time greats here in Jacksonville. We're very happy for him individually. But I think Fred would tell you he's most excited right now about the opportunity to pursue a championship."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press