New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was set to replace Atlanta Falcons’ tight end Tony Gonzalez on the NFC Pro Bowl roster, but he opted out. Graham was the first tight end alternate for the NFC roster but will miss the game and instead, Minnesota Vikings’ tight end Kyle Rudolph will take his place.
Graham missing the Pro Bowl is actually a very wise move on his part because he will instead use the time to get surgery on his on his injured wrist. If you recall, Graham was battling a wrist injury for much of all last season. However, the injury was never the reason for Graham to miss any games.
Despite the injury Graham still put up great numbers even if this past season was considered a “down” year for him. Graham still managed 85 receptions for 982 yards and nine touchdowns while battling through his wrist injury. Another stat that comes to mind is the 15 drops that Graham had this season which was most in the NFL. Furthermore, Graham also played with a dislocated right ring finger at one point during this season, and that could have contributed to all of the dropped passes.
Graham showed how tough he is this season by playing through injuries all season long. Graham’s surgery should not require him to miss a significant amount of time, and it is smart to have the surgery during the beginning of the off-season. Graham should come back healthy in 2013 and have a big bounce back year. Next season Graham will re-establish himself as one of the top tight ends in the NFL.