Absolutely, Cam Jordan would rather have been on the field this week.
And since the New Orleans Saints wouldn't have been preparing to play in the Super Bowl – their season ended in an NFC divisional playoff game loss to Tampa Bay – the star defensive end gladly would have taken getting ready to play in his sixth Pro Bowl.
"The body is healing," Jordan said. "A week-and-a-half (since the season ended), it's like you sort of forget about the bone bruises you had to deal with for the last five, six weeks of the season. The hip doesn't hurt as bad, the sternum doesn't hurt as bad.
"Every football player has aches and bruises and after about two weeks out, you're like, 'It does feel nice to be able to walk without having to drag an ankle,' or whatever it is. It would have been great to have that mind-set, to actually get to play one last game because that's the game where you get to let out your frustrations.
"You get to let out your frustrations in that game. I needed that."
Fun replaced frustration this year during the run-up to this year's Pro Bowl, given that the on-field game was nixed due to Covid-19 precautions, and was replaced by virtual events. The Pro Bowl "game" will be a played on the EA Sports Madden NFL 21 video game, with eight players and celebrities competing against one another.
Five Saints were named to the NFC Pro Bowl team this year. In addition to Jordan, left tackle Terron Armstead, running back Alvin Kamara, left guard Andrus Peat and cornerback Marshon Lattimore were selected.
For Jordan, one of the lead-up events was a Verzuz battle with Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett, a comparison of play-makers' plays featuring accompanying commentary by their own personal hype men. In Jordan's case, that meant former teammate Mark Ingram, a running back whose relationship with Jordan is more "brother" than "friend."
Jordan's first highlight wasn't a sack but, instead, was a run stop with a twist – he tackled former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who, along with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, was moderating the Verzuz battle.
"Wait, hold up," Jones-Drew said, smiling. "That's disrespectful whoever put that on there! That was me!"
"We did a Verzuz celebration/appreciation of some of the top guys," Jordan said. "So (one) was me and Myles Garrett. And I feel like as being one of the few active players that have tackles of MJD (Jones-Drew), I had to throw a highlight in there. I feel like he held prejudice against me after I showed a good TFL (tackle for loss) back when he was part of the Jaguars."
Another event for Jordan was a sneaker battle, with Seattle safety Jamal Adams.
"I wouldn't say battle," Jordan said. "An appreciation of shoes, vast collection of shoes over the years, with me and Jamal Adams. We've got a couple of other different things."
In the five-category presentation (Jordan actually presented two shoes in a couple of categories because he couldn't make up his mind), the defensive end showed off a couple of customized pairs that were deemed "priceless."
"It would have been even better had we been able to do it in person," he said. "This is a cool second, (but) it's not the same as when you catch it in live action."
Definitely, not the same as having the opportunity to travel to Orlando, Fla., and play the game.
"Because we're not on site, because we're not practicing – a lot of the attraction is the fanfare that the Pro Bowl has become in Orlando, because it's so accessible, it sort of leaves us in a different place," Jordan said.
"It's like, we get a jersey, we don't even get to throw it on. And the jersey was elite this year, it brought me back to my Dad's time playing ball (Steve Jordan was a six-time Pro Bowler at tight end for Minnesota) and the retro style they had with the red, white and blue jerseys that came across. But we'll worry about that later."