Eli Manning to be replacement

  • ESPN.com news services | January 15, 2013

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says injuries to "multiple lower extremities" will keep him out of the Pro Bowl later this month.

Rodgers was to be the NFC's starting quarterback. But the reigning NFL MVP said on his weekly radio show on Milwaukee's ESPN 540 AM on Tuesday that he didn't pass his year-end physical. He wouldn't get into specifics, though he did say injury to his right ankle that landed him on the injury report several times in the second half of the season "has definitely been a problem."

"I'm sorry to the fans, the Green Bay fans that are going to be out there," Rodgers said.

The New York Giants announced Tuesday evening that Eli Manning will be Rodgers' replacement.

Rodgers isn't the only NFC North offensive star to back out of the Pro Bowl, as Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been replaced on the NFC roster by Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson.

Jackson led the Bucs with career bests of 72 receptions and 1,384 yards after signing with them as a free agent last winter.

Johnson had 122 receptions and broke Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a season with 1,964 while playing through nagging injuries most of the year.

The Lions listed Johnson on the team's final injury report with knee and ankle ailments. The receiver also said earlier in the season he had nerve damage after being hit in the head and neck area early in the season by Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway.

Ryan Clady has withdrawn from the Pro Bowl because of an injury, presumably the balky shoulder that bothered him during the Denver Broncos' first-round bye but didn't prevent him from playing in their loss to Baltimore.

Clady will be replaced by Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach has also been added to the NFC Pro Bowl team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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