The 2012 NFL Pro Bowl rosters have been announced. Surprisingly, wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the only player from the Detroit Lions on the NFC roster for the game. He received the fourth-highest amount of votes from fans, so his inclusion for the second year in a row is no surprise. It is a bit surprising, however, that Johnson is the only Lions player currently set to go to Hawaii for the game.
The Lions have three alternates for the 2012 Pro Bowl: quarterback Matthew Stafford, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and safety Louis Delmas. If something happens where players at their respective positions can't participate in the game either because of injuries or because they're in the Super Bowl, they will be called upon to play in the game.
I have two problems with this. For starters, Stafford was left off the NFC roster because Eli Manning was selected as the third quarterback. Stafford's numbers (4,518 yards, 63.7 completion percentage, 36 TD, 14 INT) are better than Manning's (4,587 yards, 60.3 completion percentage, 26 TD, 16 INT), so I really don't understand the thinking behind Manning's selection.
My other major problem is that Cliff Avril wasn't even named an alternate for the Pro Bowl. I realize there are many great defensive ends in the NFC, but it seems like he is at least deserving of being named an alternate. I suppose aside from contract bonuses, it doesn't really matter at the end of the day, but it'd be nice for Lions players that are deserving of recognition to actually get some.
Go to NFL.com for a full look at the 2012 Pro Bowl rosters.
UPDATE: The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Cam Newton is the first alternate at quarterback, meaning two of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning would have to miss the game for Stafford to go to Hawaii. Ridiculous. (Via Dave Birkett)