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The first-ever Pro Bowl deactivation

1/31/2011

Mercifully, none of us have felt compelled to spend much time with Sunday's abomination of a Pro Bowl. But in response to a few of your questions, I do want to address why Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson was on the sideline but did not play in the NFC's 55-41 "victory."

Henderson, as you might recall, was added to the NFC roster late Thursday as a replacement for New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who withdrew because of personal reasons. But as Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune first reported, the NFL ran into an uncomfortable situation when Vilma came back and said he could play after all.

Vilma started and had two tackles. With roster limits in place, however, the NFL ultimately "deactivated" Henderson for the game. He will be paid the winner's share of $45,000. None of that should take away from the fact that Henderson make a remarkable comeback last season from a devastating leg injury. But this was a by-product of the deterioration of the Pro Bowl. With so many players withdrawing or otherwise unable to play, the NFL ended up with some crossed wires and one too many players in Hawaii.

And now, back to the real games ...