A couple of nagging injuries have had an effect on the San Diego Charger players headed to the upcoming Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Brady had a screw inserted in the navicular bone located at the instep to repair a stress fracture he suffered on his right foot. While the Patriots were not forthcoming with more details regarding exactly when Brady suffered the injury, the six-time Pro Bowler had been listed as having a foot injury for the last eight regular season games.
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel, in his first selection to the Pro Bowl, was chosen to replace the ailing Brady. That means that Charger quarterback Phillip Rivers should be bumped up to start for the AFC with Peyton Manning backing him up.
Rivers missed attending the Pro Bowl in his prior two selections, once because of injury, and once due to the birth of his youngest of four daughters, Sarah Catherine.
Antonio Gates's plantar fascia injury has lingered long enough to keep him out of his seventh-straight Pro Bowl appearance. Oakland Raiders tight end Zach Miller will replace him.
"Once you rest and it heals, it's like you never had it," said Gates, regarding his nagging injury that kept him out of the Chargers lineup for the last four games of the season. "My doctors said that on a scale of one to 10, this is like a one."
It doesn't appear Gates will need surgery, but he will have to stay off the foot until it is fully healed.
In other news, Kris Dielman will start for the AFC at the guard position. This is his fourth consecutive selection to the Pro Bowl.
Even though San Diego finished the season with the No. 1-ranked defense in the league, not a single Charger was selected to the Pro Bowl on defense. It makes you wonder whether the Chargers defense was really that good, or whether the selection committee (the fans) was really that uninformed.