NFL Considering Eliminating Tackling in Pro Bowl, Making Event More of a Celebration

by Tyler Mansfield

Each and every year, the Pro Bowl is a highlight of the NFL‘s season. While the NBA and MLB hold their annual All-Star Games, the Pro Bowl pretty much serves the same purpose for the NFL. However, while the NBA and MLB All-Star Games aren’t very competitive, the Pro Bowl contests usually are.

Because of how physical the Pro Bowls are and the injury risk that comes with that, the NFL is considering making a big change. According to ESPN, the league has been discussing the idea of eliminating tackling in the Pro Bowl. League representatives have been piecing together the idea at this week’s spring meetings, so a decision could be made sooner than later.

While the NFL has already been in communication with players and teams about the idea, there would be no vote needed to approve the change. Furthermore, the league is now discussing options with its players and TV partners about how the game will operate moving forward.

As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN, the league may “consider turning the Pro Bowl into a celebration of players rather than playing an actual game.” So, would that be more of an All-Star type of game where there’s hardly any defense being played? Or does that mean it’ll just be a day full of other events?

“I think the conclusion was that the game itself doesn’t work,” Goodell said of the Pro Bowl’s current system. “And we need to find another way to celebrate our players.”

The Pro Bowl Is Certainly Due for a Change

Over the years, many NFL stars who have made the Pro Bowl have decided not to participate due to injury concerns. Also, some players who have participated in the event haven’t performed like they normally do in real games because of injury concerns. Therefore, it’s probably time for a change.

With that said, what can the NFL do to celebrate its players during Pro Bowl weekend? What’s the league’s overall goal, from Roger Goodell’s perspective?

“To celebrate that these are our Pro Bowl players, the best players in our league, and give them an opportunity to celebrate that with our fans,” Goodell said. “We’ve talked about some of the events around the Pro Bowl are really, extremely popular, whether the quarterback challenge or some of the other events. So, those are some of the things we will continue to discuss.”