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NFL adding Skills Showdown to 2017 Pro Bowl

Maybe the Pro Bowl should just be a skills showdown...

NFL: Pro Bowl-Photo Day Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is adding what they’re calling a Skills Showdown the 2017 Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will put AFC and NFC All-Stars against each other in unique competitions with a mix of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs on competing teams.

The event will take place on January 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET, the Thursday prior to the Pro Bowl, and will be televised on ESPN.

Maybe, this is what the Pro Bowl should be, no game necessary on Sunday. Many Bengals fans don’t want any Bengals players heading to the Pro Bowl after Tyler Eifert was injured in the game last season, costing him the first six games of the 2016 NFL season. Eifert himself has said that he will not return to the Pro Bowl, as it’s currently constructed with a game to cap off the weekend. Fans would surely like to see their favorite players honored, but, not at the expense of an injury.

A skill competition, which the league is adding into the mix for the Pro Bowl, will likely be an entertaining challenge for the players, without the same chances of injury that an NFL game can provide. The players who get voted into the game hardly take it seriously anyway and last year, dozens of players opted out of the game, including every player selected from the Patriots.

This year’s Skills Showdown will be produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions, producers of American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen.

Competitions in the Skills Challenge will include:

Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball.

Power Relay Challenge: Four team members will compete in a timed relay race.

Precision Passing: Two players on each team will battle it out, trying to hit moving targets of varying size and distance.

Best Hands: Quarterback and wide receiver duos from each team will show off their skills, connecting on as many pass attempts as possible before time runs out.


Fan voting for the 2017 Pro Bowl will end tomorrow, Tuesday, December 13. Fans can vote online at www.NFL.com/probowlvote. Fans may also vote via social media by using #ProBowlVote and the player’s first and last name on Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook, fans may comment on any official Pro Bowl Vote post by the NFL or a team. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 16.

Are you excited about the addition of the Skills Competition? What do you think about eliminating the Pro Bowl and just having a skill-related challenge in which the Pro Bowl players can compete?