The attrition rate has always been high for the Pro Bowl, even when the game followed the Super Bowl in Hawaii. This year, the game will be played stateside for the first time in 30 years and it will kick off this Sunday night in Miami, a week before Super Bowl 44 is contested at the same venue. With New Orleans and Indianapolis playing for the title, the two elected starting quarterbacks will have to take a pass. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning won't be available so alternates are moving up. Minnesota's Brett Favre is also skipping the game after suffering an ankle injury in the NFC Championship Game. The departures will move Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers into the starting lineup for the NFC. Tony Romo of Dallas and Donovan McNabb of Philadelphia have been added to the squad. David Garrard of Jacksonville will take the place of Manning for the AFC. Other pro bowl representatives from the Packers are safety Nick Collins, back for a second straight season and rookie linebacker Clay Matthews. Named as an alternate originally, Matthews was added to the roster quickly because of an injury to Chicago's Lance Briggs. Matthews becomes only the third rookie to play in the game in Packers history, joining John Brockington (1971) and James Lofton (1978). Charles Woodson, elected as a starting cornerback, is skipping the game because of his lingering shoulder injury.
The Pack's assistant strength and conditioning coach is leaving the team after spending two years in Green Bay. 33 year old Mondray Gee is joining the Seattle Seahawks, thanks to a strong reccomendation from Seattle's new General Manager and former Packers director of football operations John Schneider.
This week we'll wrap up our season review of the 2009 Packers, position by position. Last week we focused on the offense and now it's the defense's turn, beginning with the defensive line.