Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers was the first Pro Bowl alternate Wednesday to replace New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. But team doctors recommended Roethlisberger (shoulder) turn down the invite until he was fully recovered.
RoethlisbergerRoethlisberger hurt his right shoulder in Pittsburgh's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins. The injury will not require surgery.
"His shoulder was not 100 percent from our final game in Miami," Steelers head of public relations Dave Lockett said. "Our doctors and trainers have recommended that he should allow it to heal 100 percent."
Roethlisberger became the Steelers' first quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season. After winning the Super Bowl last year, Pittsburgh finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs this season via a tiebreaker.