The Broncos will still send the NFL's largest contingent of players to the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. this week. But it will not include Peyton Manning.
The quarterback pulled out of the game, citing the quadriceps injury he sustained against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 14. He played through it for three consecutive games that followed, including last week's playoff loss.
"It's a great honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl, and I've always taken the obligation to play in it very seriously," Manning said. "I've believed that, if healthy, it's a player's responsibility to play in the game because of what it means to be voted in by your peers and the fans.
"I'm disappointed that I'm just not healthy enough this year to be part of it. It's going to be tough not being down there with the other guys, but it hasn't had enough time to heal."
Pulling out of the Pro Bowl is a serious choice for Manning, who played in 11 of the 13 previous years he was selected. He missed two games because his team was in the Super Bowl.
Manning missed two practices during the first-round bye week to rest his quad.
See the historic moment frozen in time with snapshots of Peyton Manning's 509th career touchdown pass.