Josh Allen is going to pass on participating in the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl. The 25-year-old was named an alternate after initially losing out to former league MVP Lamar Jackson for the third and final quarterback slot on the AFC roster -- Jackson having missed the back end of the season with injury. Any Buffalo Bills fans hoping to get one last glimpse of their franchise quarterback before their offseason officially begins will have to do without and wait until September when the games count toward the team's win-loss total.
"Unfortunately, I will be declining the invitation to play in the Pro Bowl this year -- in order to allow my body to rest and recover from the harshness of the season," Allen said, via Chris Mortensen of ESPN. "The type of quarterback [that] I am, I obtain a lot of bumps and bruises along the road of a season, so I will use this time to let my body heal."
This might leave the AFC in a bit of a pickle, having to now identify another alternate, and potentially more than one. With Jackson and Allen now out, that leaves only Justin Herbert as starter with Patrick Mahomes as the only backup, but the latter is preparing to play in the AFC Championship and hopes to punch his ticket to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. If he does, he won't be available for the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 6 in Las Vegas, leaving only Herbert on the roster.
The league should announce soon who they'll seek as a new alternate for Allen, and Mahomes (if needed).
Allen's decision officially closes the chapter on his 2021 season, having been shoved into the offseason one game shy of the AFC Championship by Mahomes -- in an instant classic that saw the two shoot it out at Arrowhead Stadium before the Chiefs took the victory in overtime. The fight spawned another round of questions regarding the league's overtime rules, considering Allen wasn't given a chance to answer Mahomes' touchdown in the extra session, after having successfully done so time and again throughout the first four quarters.
Allen nearly matched career highs in both passing yards (4,407) and passing touchdowns (36) in 2021, while rushing for a career-best 763 yards and six touchdowns to help keep the Bills offense regularly lethal. As a true dual-threat quarterback, he'll put his body on ice until this summer, when mini-camp and training camp commence.