|A wrist injury will keep Saints tight end Jimmy Graham out of the Pro Bowl. (US Presswire)|
As the NFC's first alternate at tight end, Graham was in line to replace Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez, whose spot has been taken by Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph.
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“[I'm] honored to have gotten the call to rep NFC in Pro Bowl,” Graham tweeted. “Sorry I have to miss it, but I'm wishing my teammates well.”
In mid-December, Graham revealed that he began experiencing pain in his wrist as early as the preseason. He wrapped his wrists throughout the season to prevent opponents from targeting his injured hand.
“I think it's been ongoing all season,” said then-Saints interim coach Joe Vitt when the report surfaced. “But I think Jimmy has done a real good job of working through his nicks.”
The injury could explain Graham's slight decline in production. In 15 games, Graham had 85 catches on 135 targets and nine touchdowns. Graham's 63 percent catch rate in the regular season placed him behind prominent tight ends Jason Witten (75 percent), Rob Gronkowski (69 percent), Vernon Davis (67 percent) and Gonzalez (75 percent), according to Football Outsiders. Graham also led the league in dropped passes with 13, according to STATS, LLC.
In 2011, Graham led all tight ends in catches with 99 and ranked second in touchdowns with 11. Graham finished with a 66 percent catch rate on 149 targets.
It's unknown if Graham will be available for OTAs in the late spring.
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