The Pro Bowl logo on the field at Allegiant Stadium in 2022. Feb 6, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; The Pro Bowl logo is seen on the field before the game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last few decades have seen a lot of debate about the value of the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl, including from concerns about injuries and from players not going all-out in efforts to avoid injury. That’s led to declining viewership, including just 6.7 million viewers last year, the lowest number since 2009. And the NFL has now done away with the traditional Pro Bowl, replacing it with a “Pro Bowl Games” week.

The new week will include skills competitions and then a flag football game in the regular Pro Bowl slot on the Sunday before the Super Bowl. This year, that will be on Feb. 6 in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Rob Maiddi of The Associated Press broke that news Monday:

As Maiddi’s piece notes, the league has brought in Peyton Manning and his broadcasting company Omaha Productions to help revamp the week and the game. Here’s what Manning (who received 14 Pro Bowl invitations, tied for second all-time behind Tom Brady’s 15) told Maiddi about his role:

“The Pro Bowl has always been a time to step back and celebrate the game of football with teammates, fans and family,” Manning told the AP. “I’m thankful I can continue to be part of the week as all of us at Omaha Productions work with the NFL to reimagine The Pro Bowl Games. Making Sunday’s game a flag football game is great to see. Youth football has been extremely important to me, and knowing NFL FLAG will help grow this sport, I hope boys and girls can see themselves playing the same game as the best players in the world.”

Here’s how the NFL later announced it:

The decision to end the tackle Pro Bowl got a lot of Twitter discussion. Some are just happy the traditional game is gone:

And some like the idea of the new approach:

Some aren’t convinced the flag game will be better, though, and noted that there are still injury concerns.

We’ll see how this decision turns out for the NFL, and how many people tune in for the new events.

[The Associated Press; photo of the Pro Bowl logo on the field ahead of the 2022 game from Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.