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Defections shake up Pro Bowl QB ranks

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

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Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Aaron Rodgers. Ben Roethlisberger. Andrew Luck. Tony Romo.

These were the six quarterbacks originally selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl.

That list, as all things Pro Bowl seem to be, was subject to change.

And has it ever been.

Roethlisberger — injured in Pittsburgh’s playoff loss — was the first to depart, with Drew Brees taking his place.

Then, Manning dropped out because of injury, opening the door for Detroit’s Matthew Stafford.

Next, Brady couldn’t play after New England made the Super Bowl. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan took that roster spot.

Finally, Rodgers — as might have been expected — withdrew after playing with a calf injury in the postseason. Ultimately, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton got the call to replace him.

So let’s connect all the dots.

Brees — the first Pro Bowl alternate, per — was tabbed first to take Roethlisberger’s place.

San Diego’s Phillip Rivers was reportedly the second alternate, but he passed on the game, per multiple media reports.

The third alternate, Seattle’s Russell Wilson, is playing in the Super Bowl.

This led to Stafford — purportedly the fourth alternate — getting Manning’s spot.

Now, we come to the final two QB replacements.

Ryan’s addition to the Pro Bowl was announced Monday night. It would appear, then, that Ryan was at least the fifth alternate.

Finally, we come to Rodgers’ spot, which was officially filled Tuesday.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco — ostensibly at least the sixth alternate — declined the offer for a Pro Bowl spot; his wife is soon expecting a baby, according to the club.

This opened the door for Dalton, who appears to be the seventh alternate at best.

As of now, this leaves Dalton, Ryan, Stafford, Brees, Romo and Luck as the six quarterbacks.

We’ll continue to track Pro Bowl transactions up until the game this Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Our up-to-date Pro Bowl roster includes players added and removed from the game, as well as players known to have declined invitations.