Being named to the Pro Bowl is a bigger deal for players than playing in the actual game, and this time of year we start to hear about players bowing out of the annual all-star event. The New York Giants announced that Olivier Vernon was named to replace Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack. In their announcement thay also mention that Mack is “unable to participate due to injury.”
Mack did have that ankle injury around midseason, but since coming back healthy there haven’t been any other official reports about an ailment. There also wasn’t anything injury related announced from the wild card game, so this “injury” could just be him wanting out of the game.
This was Mack’s fourth straight Pro Bowl nod, so he’s experienced the festivities before.
For now, Chicago still has four other players in the game, and they did have a number of alternates named so that total could change again.