In what shouldn’t come as a big surprise, quarterback Tom Brady will not participate in this year’s Pro Bowl, as he has been replaced with Alex Smith. Brady usually doesn’t go to Hawaii to play in the second to last game of the NFL season, unless he wins the Super Bowl (back when the Pro Bowl came after the Super Bowl). As Doug Kyed, of NESN points out, Brady hasn’t played in a Pro Bowl since 2004, which of course was the last time his squad won the Super Bowl.
Cornerback Aqib Talib will also not be on the field in Hawaii, after injuring his knee last Sunday against the Broncos. Antonio Cromartie will replace Talib, something that is a little ironic, considering that Cromartie has publicly displayed his dislike for the Pats, in his career with the New York Jets.
This leaves three Patriots that have the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski, offensive guard Logan Mankins, and special teams ace Matthew Slater. As a fan of the game, I really hope these three play in the game, as it is the last time we will be able to see a Patriot in action, before the horrible seven and a half month break begins.