Indianapolis Colts left guard Quenton Nelson will not participate in this year’s Pro Bowl Games after all—as he’s been recently replaced by Buffalo Bills veteran offensive guard Rodger Saffold:
#Bills OT Dion Dawkins, TE Dawson Knox and OG Rodger Saffold have been named to the Pro Bowl.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 30, 2023
Saffold replaces #Colts OG Quenton Nelson
Dawkins replaces #Chiefs OT Orlando Brown.
Knox replaces #Chiefs TE Travis Kelce.
Nelson made all 17 starts this past season for the Colts, and while he still played at a Pro Bowl caliber level, he wasn’t quite his usual NFL First-Team All-Pro self (perhaps hindered by the sometimes shaky offensive line play on both sides of him and at starting quarterback).
Nelson was proud of his Pro Bowl nod, but he acknowledged late in this season that his play hadn’t met his usually pristine standards:
“It hasn’t been to my standard, for sure,” Nelson said in late December via The Indy Star’s Nate Atkins. “I’ve had some bad reps and some good ones, too, but overall, I’m not super happy with it.”
It means that Nelson may be looking to get his body right after a long season and re-focus getting back his elite level of blocking at left guard again—where he was the gold standard.
Meaning Big Q may not be making the trip to Vegas this weekend.
Nelson was the lone Colt initially named outright to the Pro Bowl Games, but the team does have five replacements: running back Jonathan Taylor (now, safely out after undergoing ankle surgery), defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, linebacker Zaire Franklin, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore—so maybe there’s some slight hope the Horseshoe may still have an active representative yet.
This year’s Pro Bowl Games won’t be the same as the NFL’s annual all-star game anyways, as it will involve skills challenges and a non-contact flag football game of sorts.
The Pro Bowl Games are scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 5th, at 12 pm PST at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Legendary Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will be coaching the AFC team.