With Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hobbling for much of the last six weeks and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady now exempt from the festivities (as if he would have gone anyway), many assumed that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow would be invited to the Pro Bowl, given that he’s the second alternate.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, the first alternate, already has been called up, given that Brady will be getting ready for the Super Bowl. But a league source tells PFT that Roethlisberger will “definitely” make the trip to Hawaii, despite an ankle injury that he first suffered on December 8 — and that he apparently aggravated on multiple occasions.
This means that Tebow’s first Pro Bowl appearance will come next year, at the earliest.
Of course, making the trip and being able to play are two different things. Roethlisberger could realize once he tries to practice that the ankle still isn’t 100 percent. But at least he still gets the free trip to Hawaii.
Tebow, who suffered a rib injury nine days ago in a 45-10 division-round loss to the Patriots, likely would be able to play in the game on short notice, if it comes to that. A source with knowledge of the situation said that doctors told Tebow last week, when Roethlisberger’s status was uncertain, that Tebow should be able to practice for and play in the Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl will be televised Sunday night on NBC. Which may explain why we suddenly have more than a cursory interest in it.