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Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady withdraw from Pro Bowl

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has withdrawn from the Pro Bowl, opening the door for Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge to take his place.

Gronkowski was one of seven Patriots to earn the honor, along with quarterback Tom Brady, cornerback Malcolm Butler, special-teams captain Matthew Slater, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins.

Brady is also out.

He took an astounding 23 hits in Sunday's AFC Championship Game loss to the Denver Broncos, and Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is set to take his place. Brady annually pulls out of the Pro Bowl.

Of the group of seven Patriots Pro Bowlers, only Butler and Gostkowski weren't on the Patriots' final injury report, so the expectation is that a few more Patriots won't make the game.

UPDATE: Later on Tuesday, it was learned that cornerback Butler and Gostkowski also pulled out with injuries. Also, Jones and Collins dropped out.