Eight of the original eight San Francisco Pro Bowlers passed on a chance to go to Honolulu. As it turns out, a ninth Niner said no, too.
Joining the eight who won’t be joining the NFL’s all-stars is safety Donte Whitner.
Per a league source, Whitner was the original choice to replace Seahawks safety Earl Thomas after Seattle qualified for the Super Bowl. But Whitner declined due to injury — opening a spot for Giants safety Antrel Rolle.
Some 49ers (like linebacker NaVorro Bowman, guard Mike Iupati, and running back Frank Gore) have injuries that would prevent them from playing in the Pro Bowl. Others have injuries that likely wouldn’t prevent them from suiting up for a game that matters.
Still, there will be at least one gold helmet with red decals in Hawaii. Rookie safety Eric Reid will replace Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.