Yesterday, the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder reported that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was actually the third alternate for the Pro Bowl this year, meaning that he was sixth among AFC quarterbacks in votes.
Alex Smith made the game as an alternate for Oakland’s Derek Carr, and Holder later clarified his report to say that Smith was actually the second alternate and that Marcus Mariota was the first, but since Mariota is injured he declined. That meant that Luck was next in line, and with the other two AFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks playing this weekend (Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger), one of them is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl and not play in the Pro Bowl.
Sure enough, according to Colts.com Andrew Luck was indeed named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, but he declined the offer since he recently underwent shoulder surgery.
That’s the smart and obvious move by Luck, as there’s no reason to delay surgery or anything like that just to be able to play in a meaningless All-Star game that has become a bit of a joke recently - as evidenced most recently by the fact that Luck was actually sixth among AFC quarterbacks in the voting, behind even Alex Smith! It’s a snub regardless of whether Luck were to play or not, but in the end it’s not a big deal whatsoever whether Luck plays or not. It doesn’t really matter, and I think all Colts fans would agree that Luck made the best decision in going ahead and undergoing surgery to hopefully fix the shoulder issue that’s been lingering since 2015.
It does likely mean, however, that only one Colts player will participate in the Pro Bowl this year. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will play, but punter Pat McAfee declined after undergoing surgery on his knee. It’s unlikely that there will be another Colts player named as an alternate, so Colts fans looking to tune into the Pro Bowl next week will probably only have one player from Indianapolis to pay attention to.