By Danny Cox
There may only be two teams left in the race for the professional football championship of the world, but there’s a lot more going on elsewhere in the NFL. Don’t forget, there is actually a game being played this weekend, and now there are two more rookies stepping into key spots for both sides.
NFC and AFC get multiple replacements in Pro Bowl
A number of replacements have been named for this year’s Pro Bowl, and a lot of them are coming on the AFC side of the ball. One of the biggest replacements is that Tom Brady will be sitting out with an injury while Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts gets to take his spot.
Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has been added to the roster of the NFC in order to replace an injured Matt Ryan. Wilson makes the sixth Seahawks player to land on the squad joining teammates from both the offensive and defensive sides of things.
There were a few other replacements as well with injuries coming into play as well as some players not going due to the fact that they will be in the Super Bowl. Some other names of note that will now be playing in the Pro Bowl are Thomas DeCoud, William Moore, Richie Incognito, Owen Daniels, and C.J. Spiller.
Falcons’ tight end Tony Gonzalez is set to retire…probably
With the Atlanta Falcons losing to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, it seems that tight end Tony Gonzalez has played his last game. After the loss, Gonzalez said that the NFC Championship Game was “probably” his last in the NFL, and that mirrors what he has been saying throughout the whole season.
“It’s probably the last time I’m going to wear that uniform,” Gonzalez said after the Falcons’ 28-24 loss. “I didn’t want to take it off, to tell you the truth. All good things come to an end, and like I said all season long, this is probably my last one. What an unbelievable ride.”
If it is the true end to Gonzalez‘s career, he will finish second on the career receptions list with 1,242 and sixth overall with 103 touchdowns. As a tight end, that ranks first. He is seventh on the all-time career receiving list with 14,268 yards.
Bernard Pollard calls for Tom Brady to be fined for foot-up slide
During the AFC Championship Gamer on Sunday, New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady scrambled and then started to slide as Baltimore Ravens‘ safety Ed Reed was coming after him. Brady proceeded to stick one leg high into the air and aimed directly at Reed, causing the Baltimore safety to go tumbling awkwardly to the ground.
Luckily, Reed escaped the play uninjured, but the play of Brady did seem quite strange. Ravens‘ safety Bernard Pollard believes that Brady should actually be fined for his actions.
Pollard said at a press conference on Monday, “If you want to keep this going in the right direction, everyone should be penalized for their actions.”
He said Brady “knew what he was doing. It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it. If they don’t, that’s fine. If they do, then that’s fine.”
In a league that does whatever they can to avoid players being hit in ways that could injure them by hydraulic wrenches; the NFL may want to take another look at Brady’s slide. Perhaps he wasn’t attempting to purposely injure Reed, but it does appear as if he intentionally stuck his foot out in the air and elevated it.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.