The 2014 season was a long one for Ben Roethlisberger. The two-time Super Bowl champion threw for more yards and threw more touchdowns than any Steeler has ever thrown, while leading his team to a somewhat surprising 11-5 record, complete with a shiny, new AFC North title. Because of Roethlisberger's success, he was awarded a trip to the Pro Bowl, joining Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as quarterbacking representatives for the NFL.
Ben, however, has opted to skip the Pro Bowl, according to Scott Brown of ESPN. Since a player needs a legitimate reason to not participate in the event that's certainly lost its luster in the years, Roethlisberger is citing knee inflammation as the ailment preventing the 11-year pro from making the trip to Arizona. In fact, it was reported earlier, based on a suggestion from Mike Tomlin, that Roethlisberger might opt for an offseason knee procedure to clean up his knee.
The good news is Ben is forgoing surgery in the hopes rest can solve any issues he's experiencing. His doctors have recommended the quarterback take it easy during the offseason, a diagnosis which includes skipping 2015 Pro Bowl activities.
Drew Brees, who was tied with Roethlisberger for the league's passing yardage title with 4,952 yards, will replace the Pittsburgh star in the lineup.
The Pro Bowl will feature it's second year using a 'fantasy draft' formula, with Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter serving as honorary captains. Carter and Irvin will select their teams on Jan. 20-21 and the Pro Bowl game will take place Jan. 25 in Arizona.