The NFL made a bold move this past season when they decided to cut ties with the NFL Pro Bowl as most fans knew it. Instead of a glorified game of touch football, the league has decided to go with a more fan-friendly approach. This year you will see a flag football game, as well as other activities which will showcase the league’s best players and their athleticism.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, they had two players be selected to this year’s Pro Bowl festivities in T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Despite missing a large portion of the season, Watt remained a high vote-getter by fans and players alike. Nonetheless, Watt has decided to pass on this year’s activities.
This per Dale Lolley of Steelers.com:
Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt won't take part in the Pro Bowl "games" this year. No new injury news there. But replaced by Matt Milano -- who even though both have LB next to their names, plays a completely different position.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) January 27, 2023
What is important here is noting how Watt didn’t suffer an injury of any kind, rather likely to allow his body to heal from a pectoral injury, as well as knee surgery to “clean up” the joint while he was on Injured Reserve (IR).
It might seem fitting to have Alex Highsmith take his place, considering he registered 14.5 sacks this season, but Watt’s replacement will be Matt Milano.
The Pro Bowl activities will take place next week, the week off between the AFC and NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. For Steelers fans, Minkah Fitzpatrick is the lone player who will represent the black-and-gold in 2023.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the long NFL offseason.