The knee injury suffered by Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib had a big impact on the way the AFC Championship Game played out on Sunday and it will have an impact on the Pro Bowl as well.
Talib has pulled out of the game and will be replaced by Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie and center Nick Mangold have both been named to the roster after the Jets were initially shut out of the proceedings.
Cromartie’s trip to the Pro Bowl this season is based a lot more on residual memories of successful seasons in the past than on anything he did this season. Cromartie was bothered by a hip injury for much of the season and, by his own admission, had a bad year on the field by his and just about anyone else’s standards.
At some point after the Pro Bowl, Cromartie is likely to be cut by the Jets in order to avoid paying him a $5 million roster bonus due in March. Cromartie has said he’d like to re-sign and retire with the Jets, an arrangement that would work out very well for the team if Cromartie can get his play back to actual Pro Bowl levels in 2014.