The NFL recently announced several replacement players for the 2020 Pro Bowl. Among the players who will not participate are Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and guard David DeCastro.
Pro Bowl replacements: #Panthers G Trai Turner replaces #Eagles G Brandon Brooks. #Colts C Ryan Kelly is in replacing #Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 9, 2020
#Browns left guard Joel Bitonio has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl team. He replaces injured Steelers guard David DeCastro.— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) January 9, 2020
Injuring himself in the second half of the Steelers Week 16 game against the New York Jets, the extent of Pouncey’s injury has been kept under wraps. The Steelers did not place Pouncey on the Reserve/Injured List for the final week of the season much like they did with Mason Rudolph who exited the same game. So had the Steelers been able to make the postseason, the team to be hoping for the return of Pouncey for a playoff run.
In all, Pouncey missed three games in the 2019 season. Suspended for two games following the Steelers Thursday night game against the Cleveland Browns, Pouncey missed the Steelers’ victories in Cincinnati and at home against Cleveland.
It came as a surprise to some that Pouncey managed to make the Pro Bowl based on his 2019 production. With no stats to help quantify the performance of offensive linemen, reputation and name recognition become a large factor in Pro Bowl selection.
When it comes to Steelers’ fans, whether or not Pouncey plays in the Pro Bowl is of little consequence. The more important question is if his knee injury is something which will linger into the 2020 season or, even worse, affect the remainder of his NFL career. Pouncey has often tied his retirement status to that of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is also coming off elbow surgery.
As for DeCastro, no injury has been reported for him following the 2019 season. For some players who have made the trip to the Pro Bowl before, a minor ailment may be the only thing keeping them participating in the meeting last game.
Pouncey was replaced in the 2020 Pro Bowl by Indianapolis Colts center, Ryan Kelly while DeCastro was replaced by Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio.
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