List of Ravens heading to Hawaii is shrinking

When the Pro Bowl rosters were announced about a month ago, it looked like the Ravens would be sending a formidable group to Hawaii, assuming they didn't make the Super Bowl.

That group isn't looking so robust anymore.

After linebacker Terrell Suggs (injury) and running back Ray Rice (personal reasons) withdrew from the Pro Bowl earlier this week, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and safety Ed Reed are the latest Ravens to pull out of the game, both citing injury reasons.

Ngata battled a thigh injury for much of the season, one which he admitted following Sunday's loss to the Patriots had been plaguing him down the stretch. Reed has dealt with shoulder, neck and ankle injuries lately.

That leaves the Ravens' current Pro Bowl contingent at: fullback Vonta Leach, guards Marshal Yanda and Ben Grubbs and linebacker Ray Lewis.

Ngata and Reed will be replaced by Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai and Steelers safety Ryan Clark, respectively.

No offense to Soliai and Clark, because those two are fine players and I'm not speaking of them specifically, but here we go again with the Pro Bowl becoming less of an all-star game and more of a good-players game.

Every year, a bunch of the elite players voted into the game by the fans and their peers drop out due to injury, the fact that they're playing in the Super Bowl or other reasons, leaving the rosters filled with talented players, but guys who you wouldn't expect to find playing in a Pro Bowl. It's just a shame that it consistently works out that way.

The bottom line, however, is that if people keep watching the darn thing, the NFL will keep holding it. Regardless of how watered down the pool of participants is.

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