Brees, who throws right-handed, didn't break any bones.
Brees made the All-Pro team while leading the resurgent Saints to the NFC Championship Game, but was injured while throwing a fourth-down incompletion on the NFC's second drive at the NFL all-star game. The NFC starter went 2-of-7 for 23 yards in the scoreless first quarter.
The AFC won 31-28 on Nate Kaeding's 21-yard field goal as time expired.
Brees, who passed for 4,418 yards and 26 touchdowns this season to earn his second trip to the Pro Bowl, didn't return to the game -- but coach Sean Payton wasn't likely to play his New Orleans star much beyond the opening quarter, anyway.
While the All-Pro quarterback's injury seems unlikely to affect next season, the threat of injury exists in any football game -- even a low-key, halfhearted affair such as the NFL's all-star game.
"You never want to see anybody get hurt in a game like this,
where it's just an exhibition," said Kansas City tight end Tony
Gonzalez, a veteran of eight Pro Bowls. "Hopefully it's not
Despite the ever-present threat, serious injuries are rare in
the Pro Bowl -- and even moderate injuries usually have at least
three months to heal before most clubs open minicamps.
Defensive players typically don't deliver their hardest hits in
Hawaii, and Brees -- who throws right-handed -- didn't appear to get
hit particularly hard while throwing a fourth-down incompletion on
the NFC's second offensive series.
Washington safety Sean Taylor ignored those rules of decorum in
the third quarter when he hit Buffalo's Brian Moorman hard enough
to knock the punter's legs at least 2 feet off the ground. But
Moorman, who had been attempting a fake run, popped up and ran onto
the field to say hello to Taylor.
"Believe it or not, it wasn't as bad as it looked," Moorman
Indianapolis receiver Marvin Harrison used the only surefire
technique for avoiding injuries in this exhibition: The new
champion didn't play, watching from the sideline and wearing a Pro
Bowl cap instead of a helmet.
Washington tackle Chris Samuels also didn't play.