NFL Pro Bowl rosters to be determined by draft

NEW YORK — 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 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 are coming to the game, too.

The ball will change hands at the end of each quarter, which could double the opportunities for two-minute drills. Kickoffs (and return specialists) will be eliminated — teams will start on their own 25-yard line. Defenses will be allowed to play cover-2 and press coverage in addition to man, and several clock tweaks have been instituted to speed up the game and prompt offensive play.

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