With Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie kicked off the NFC Pro Bowl team, we’re hearing that there’s a high degree of anger from his colleagues regarding the events that resulted in his banishment from the team.
“Why didn’t he just not refuse to come?” a league source told us tonight. “That way, they could have gotten someone to replace him. Now, they have to play the game with one less tackle.”
Ravens running back Willis McGahee, a former teammate of McKinnie’s at the University of Miami, put it a slightly different way on his Twitter page: “that’s bull shit.”
McKinnie got the boot after blowing off practice on Wednesday and Thursday. His dismissal officially has been documented on the Pro Bowl page at NFL.com.
And so the NFC will have to get by with only Jason Peters (Eagles) and David Diehl (Giants) at tackle. Other offensive linemen could pitch in; Cowboys guard Leonard Davis previously has played tackle during his NFL career.
McKinnie obviously has forfeited his pay check for playing in the Pro Bowl. The only remaining question is whether he’s also facing a fine from the league office. And that’s what we’re currently trying to find out.
UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirms that McKinnie will forfeit his Pro Bowl game check, and that there will be no other penalty. It’s therefore amazing that more guys didn’t refuse to play in this year’s Pro Bowl.