Pro Bowl week is more than half over in Hawaii, but Bills running back Marshawn Lynch is making sure he soaks up every bit of his first all-star experience before Sunday's game in Aloha Stadium. The AFC first alternate earned the trip to the islands after Tennessee running back Chris Johnson was unable to recover from a high ankle sprain suffered in the playoffs.
Ironically, it was Johnson who informed the Bills back in person that he'd be replacing him during Super Bowl week.
"Actually, I was down in Tampa with a couple of my buddies – Quinton Ganther and Chris Johnson," said Lynch. "They had called Chris, so I actually got the word from him, before I got it from the league. Chris said that he was only about 80 percent and that he was going to call it off."
Being friends with the rookie back made it a bit awkward initially, but since arriving in Hawaii Lynch has been able to enjoy the week.
"It's a blessing," said Lynch. "I told a couple of guys that I hate to be here in the absence of somebody that was supposed to be here, but I am here and I am happy."
Always placing a priority on family, Lynch made sure to bring a few relatives with him on the trip to the south Pacific.
"I brought my mom, my uncle and my cousin," he said.
And though Lynch appreciates the opportunity to appear in the Pro Bowl this weekend, it still doesn't take away the sting of missing the playoffs this past season.
"Not at all," said Lynch. "You can't replace a whole season with one game. As thankful and as blessed as I am to play here, I would turn all of this in, just to see what that playoff atmosphere is like."