(AP) NFL Pro Bowl rosters to be determined by draft
The NFL Pro Bowl rosters for next year will be selected in a draft by team captains, with Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice assisting as alumni captains.
The NFL will abandon the its old AFC vs. NFC format that has been in place since 1971.
The league says Wednesday that fan voting will determine the players in the draft pool. The draft will be televised by the NFL Network on Jan. 22. The game will be played Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Other changes include:
» Game within the Game: A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans.
» No Kickoffs: The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.
» Rosters: The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back.
» Cover Two and Press Coverage: The defense will be permitted to play “cover two” and “press” coverage. In previous years, only “man” coverage was permitted, except for goal-line situations.
» Stopping of the Game Clock: Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.
» Play Clock: A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.
»Game Timing: The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
» Sacks: The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.
Breitbart Sports contributed to this piece.