Drew Brees replaces Ben Roethlisberger in Pro Bowl

Drew Brees will make his ninth trip to the Pro Bowl after all. The New Orleans Saints quarterback will replace Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in the annual all-star game.

It’s unclear why Roethlisberger won’t be able to play, though he did suffer a minor neck injury during last week’s playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also said Roethlisberger may need minor surgery to clean up his knee at his season-ending press conference.

"Ben was instructed by team doctors to avoid strenuous activity due to inflammation in his knee, thus he will not play in the Pro Bowl," said Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent. "His knee will not require surgery and he looks forward to an otherwise healthy offseason to improve with his teammates."

Brees, who was selected as the first alternate at the quarterback position, has been chosen to the Pro Bowl eight times during his nine seasons with the Saints -- a franchise record. He also went as an alternate in 2012 and has now passed Willie Roaf (7) for the most Pro Bowl selections in Saints history.

Brees and Roethlisberger ironically tied for the NFL lead with 4,952 passing yards this season. But Brees didn’t make the initial Pro Bowl cut since he and the Saints were too inconsistent during a disappointing 7-9 season. Brees threw for 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

All six QBs who were selected for the Pro Bowl made the playoffs, and the other five are still playing (Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo).

Steelers reporter Scott Brown contributed to this report.