Seven Patriots players were selected to play in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu this week, but they all stuck their middle fingers up to the league and declined their invites.
The players are not going to spend this week in Hawaii and they are not going to play in another game until the preseason.
Quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Jamie Collins, defensive end Chandler Jones, defensive back and Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler, special teamer Matthew Slater and kicker Stephen Gotskowski were the seven Patriots who were supposed to play.
According to The Boston Herald, the players do actually have viable reasons to not play this week. Injuries have been tough on the Patriots this week and on the injury report, five of the seven players were listed with at least one injury last week.
Brady was dealing with an ankle issue while Gronk was listed on the report with knee and back injuries. As some might see, Gronk wears a large black arm brace on his left forearm.
Collins was on the injury report with a back issue and Slater is dealing with a shin issue. On top of that too, Slater’s wife recently had a kid and he wants to spend time with his family this offseason.
Jones was one the injury report with a toe and his abdomen listed as ailments. But on top of that, there is the synthetic marijuana incident that he probably wants to avoid addressing.
Gostkowski missed just the second extra point of his NFL career on Sunday, the first time since 2006. The last time he missed an extra point before that, Vinny Testaverde threw a touchdown pass in the game.
It had been a long time, and the extra point, one could argue, cost the team the game. The team had plenty of opportunities to win it, but the Pro Bowl kicker took the blame for the loss — so the last thing he probably wants to do right now is play football.
There was never an explanation as to why Butler is not playing .But none of his teammates are and it’s likely he was disappointed with the way that the season ended.
Remember now: he did this last year.
The Patriots did not play in the Pro Bowl last year either — because they won the Super Bowl.
NESN pointed out a couple of years back that Brady is not a fan of the Pro Bowl. He has been selected 11 times in his career, but he has not played in it since 2004.