Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been added to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster after Aaron Rodgers backed out of the game because of injury. Manning, who was voted as a second alternate last month, will play in the all-star game for the second time. He was there after the 2008 season and also voted onto the squad last season, when he could not attend because the Giants were busy preparing for the Super Bowl.
There is a chance none of the three quarterbacks originally named to the NFC roster will play in the game. Drew Brees, the first alternate, replaced Robert Griffin III after the Redskins rookie needed knee surgery for an injury he suffered in the playoffs. The only other quarterback on the roster is Matt Ryan, and if the Falcons beat the 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, he'll be unavailable to play in Hawaii on Jan. 27.
Manning joins three Giants teammates who are already on the NFC roster: defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, guard Chris Snee and wide receiver Victor Cruz. Pierre-Paul was the only one voted to start, but the others could wind up doing so. Snee will start if Mike Iupati of the 49ers is unable to play, and with injured Calvin Johnson already out, Cruz likely will start if Julio Jones of the Falcons is occupied with Super Bowl responsibilities.
Manning also will be playing against brother Peyton Manning, the Broncos quarterback who was voted as the starter for the AFC. The two were Pro Bowl opponents after the 2008 season as well.
Thomas: I'll return
Coming off a third ACL surgery, there were some who thought Terrell Thomas' career was over. He thinks differently.
The cornerback wrote on his blog Tuesday that he intends to return to the NFL next season, although he understands it may not be with the Giants or even as a cornerback.
"I am returning to football in 2013," Thomas wrote, "hopefully with the Giants, but my contract is up this year but most likely, hopefully I will be re-signing with them."
The Giants have a $6 million option on Thomas in March that they will not pay, making him a free agent a year after signing a four-year deal that could have been worth $28 million. As Thomas suggested, the Giants could bring him back at a reduced rate for a player who has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. If they do, general manager Jerry Reese suggested earlier this month that Thomas may have to move from cornerback to safety to accommodate any loss of speed and agility from his knee surgeries.
Former Giants pro personnel guru Dave Gettleman was introduced as Panthers general manager. He said taking a step back in title and responsibility in the Giants personnel department this past season was his doing. "It just gave me a chance to broaden my focus, broaden my view, and see what was really going on in the league," he said . . . The Giants signed WR Kris Adams and CB Antonio Dennard to reserve/future contracts.