GREEN BAY – At least one of the Green Bay Packers will be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons: Right guard Josh Sitton.
Sitton was chosen as the NFC’s first alternate at guard for the Pro Bowl, as the New York Giants’ Chris Snee, New Orleans Saints’ Jahri Evans and the 49ers’ Mike Iupati were the three guards voted to the Pro Bowl by coaches, players and fans.
Iupati and Evans were voted as the starters while Snee was the third guard and has already said that he will play in the game, holding off on hip surgery until after the Pro Bowl.
If the 49ers beat the Falcons on Sunday at the Georgia Dome, the 49ers would obviously advance to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. That would mean that Iupati couldn’t play in the Pro Bowl, giving Sitton his first all-star berth and trp to Hawaii in five seasons.
The Packers lost to Iupati’s 49ers, 45-31, in the NFC Divisional Playoff round last Saturday at Candlestick Park.
The Packers coaching staff, led by head coach Mike McCarthy, is coaching the NFC squad. The Packers had three players selected to the team – quarterback Aaron Rodgers, outside linebacker Clay Matthews and center Jeff Saturday – when the teams were first announced, although Rodgers said this week that he is not going to play in the game because of knee and ankle injuries that caused him to fail his physical. He has been replaced on the NFC roster by the Giants’ Eli Manning.
At the time, Saturday, who was replaced in the starting lineup by backup Evan Dietrich-Smith with two games left in the regular season, said he wished he could bequeath his Pro Bowl spot to Sitton, whom he felt was more deserving.
“Obviously, it’s always an honor. Anytime you get to go to the Pro Bowl, it is an honor and you appreciate everyone – the players, coaches and fans – that voted for you. As an offensive lineman, it is nice to get the award,” said Saturday, who was named to five Pro Bowl rosters as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. “I am disappointed for Josh Sitton; I think he should be there. It is disappointing for me, for him. I would love to be able to pass it to him. He is a tough player and has played very well all season. I respect the heck out of the way he has played and it has been fun to play next to him.”
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