(CBS) It’s hard to dispute that the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl has lost its luster in recent years, but it’s really getting ridiculous.
Entering Wednesday, 133 players, either originally or as an alternate, have been invited to the Pro Bowl, which will be played on Sunday in Honolulu. That accounts for nearly eight percent — about 1 out of every 12 — of the NFL’s 1,696 players on an active roster.
Players can decline an invitations to the Pro Bowl for a variety of reasons, including injuries, being a Super Bowl participant or simply just not wanting to play and and instead enjoy the offseason.
The 133 players invited is the highest number in Pro Bowl history, far surpassing the total of 119 from 2009. The quarterback position has taken the greatest toll, with Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Phillip Rivers all unavailable to play.
On Sunday, the Pro Bowl quarterbacks will be Derek Carr, Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Jameis Winston.
The Bears, who finished the season 6-10, will be represented by tackle Kyle Long, selected as an alternate.
For years, there has been banter about eliminating the Pro Bowl, but the league has stood strong behind its all-star game. The 2016 addition may have to force commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand.
But, hey, who’s ready for some “football”?