Pro Bowl Update: Aaron Rodgers Starting for NFC Team

Chad ToporskiContributor IJanuary 26, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

In the wake of the NFC Championship Game, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become the de facto starter for the NFC Pro Bowl team this coming weekend at Sun Life Stadium.

Both Drew Brees and Brett Favre will be absent from the game.

By leading the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl appearance, Brees and his fellow teammates will be unable to participate. They will instead be using the next two weeks to prepare for the potential shootout against the Indianapolis Colts.

Favre, on the other hand, will be nursing a left ankle injury he sustained during the second half of the NFC Championship game, when Saints defenders Bobby McCray and Remi Ayodele took him to the ground in what has become a controversial play. Favre was able to finish the game, but he will be out for the Pro Bowl.

Both Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo have been added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster as replacements, making Rodgers the starting quarterback.

It will be interesting to see how Rodgers fares while under center of a Pro Bowl team. While the exhibition game has lost its appeal to many fans (especially with the recent changes), it is nonetheless a time to watch how well players perform among a different cast of teammates.

In some ways, the Pro Bowl can highlight basic strengths and weaknesses of a player.

For instance: Does Rodgers tend to hold the ball too long, or has he just been playing with a subpar offensive line? Will he still use his mobility to gain yards on the ground, and can he make solid throws to receivers he has little experience playing with?

Whatever the outcome, Green Bay fans should be excited to see Rodgers as the starting quarterback for the NFC Pro Bowl team, because it will be quite a few months until they get to watch any Packers players on the field again.

(Note: Aaron Rodgers will be the only non-replacement quarterback to play in the 2010 Pro Bowl, since all three of the original AFC quarterbacks will miss the game. Also, Nick Collins has become the NFC Team’s starting free safety, as Darren Sharper is on his way to the Super Bowl.)