The NFL is taking a gentler approach to the Pro Bowl starting next February.
The All-Star game of the NFL will substitute flag football for a tackle game as part of a series of events. The changes are meant to increase the competitive nature of the game while lowering the chance of injury.
The Pro Bowl has never been quite as big of a premiere event as Major League’s Baseball celebration of the best players. That’s largely because it occurs the week before the Super Bowl, when attention is elsewhere. And since players don’t want to risk injury, they often treat it more like an exhibition game, going light on tackles, blocks and hits.
Peyton Manning will shape the revised Pro Bowl through his Omaha Productions company. He’ll also act as one of the coaches for the flag game.
“We’ve received invaluable feedback from players, teams and fans about reimagining the Pro Bowl, and as a result, we’re thrilled to use The Pro Bowl Games as a platform to spotlight Flag football as an integral part of the sport’s future while also introducing fun, new forms of competition and entertainment that will bring our players, their families and fans closer than ever before,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events, in a statement.
With the changes, the Pro Bowl will become a multi-day event, allowing players to show off their skills in new ways. The flag football game, pitting the AFC against the NFC, will take place on Feb. 5 and will be broadcast by ABC and ESPN.
This season’s Pro Bowl Games will take place in Las Vegas. Fans will still vote which players make up the rosters.
Officials say more details will be announced further in the 2022-2023 season.
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