Eli surprised and happy to go to Pro Bowl

Eli Manning hasn't thrown a football in two weeks.

But in over a week from now, Manning will be throwing passes in Hawaii. The Giants quarterback said he was surprised to be replacing Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers on the NFC squad after Rodgers pulled out on Tuesday. Manning is the NFC's second alternate. New Orleans Drew Brees, the first alternate, is replacing Washington's Robert Griffin III.

"I should start tossing it around a little this week," Manning said of throwing again in an interview on Giants.com. "To make sure the arm’s still loosened up a little bit."

Manning, who has been staying with his family in Mississippi, began receiving text messages on Tuesday about how Rodgers wasn't going to be able to play.

"I think my wife (Abby) was probably the most excited," Manning said. "She was all over it. I didn’t have much phone access and she was trying to text and call so that she could start planning and coordinating and I was kind of unavailable. When I finally got to a place where my cell phone had service, I had 10 text messages and missed calls from her trying to get coordinated.

"It was a good surprise," he continued. "It’s a fun time. You have a few teammates with Chris (Snee), Victor (Cruz), JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and my brother (Peyton) will be there. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to."

This will be Manning's third Pro Bowl appearance. Manning is looking forward to potentially throwing to Cruz in Honolulu.

"I think that will be good to have," Manning said. "You know his timing; you know his body language, those types of things. That will definitely be an advantage, hopefully when I’m in the game he’ll be in there as well. Hopefully, we can hook up a few times and get some completions."

Manning will also get to see his big brother for the first time since last summer.

"It’s fun, just because I haven’t seen him since June or July," Manning said of Peyton.

"I really haven’t talked to him, but anytime obviously, a season ends, you’re disappointed," Manning said of Peyton losing last weekend to Baltimore in double overtime. "Whether you’re in the playoffs or not, the season’s over and it’s always tough especially as you get older. That was possibly another chance to win a championship and obviously couldn’t get it done, but you keep working hard to give yourself another chance so if it comes up you’re ready for it.