As another adjustment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is replacing the 2021 Pro Bowl with a 'variety of engaging activities' and has awarded Las Vegas the 2022 game. Voting and selection of Pro Bowl rosters will still take place to keep up the tradition of the all-star game but there will be no AFC vs. NFC matchup at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season.
It is the only planned modification to the NFL postseason as of now. The league intends to play a full playoff slate leading up to Super Bowl LV held in Tampa in February. Traditionally played the week before the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl will now enlist the help of league partners to create activities that will virtually recognize the best players of the current season and, "provide fans the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of their favorite stars," according to the NFL's release.
Pro Bowl voting will begin on November 17 and rosters will be announced as they typically are in December. The 88 players selected are determined by an equal mix of fan, player and coaches' votes.
The Buccaneers sent three players to the Pro Bowl this past season. Both wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were selected, along with outside linebacker and 2019 'sack king' Shaq Barrett. With the national spotlight turned on Tampa Bay this year, there is hope that even more players will be named all-stars, regardless if the game is played. Like inside linebacker Lavonte David. Seriously. Get David to the Pro Bowl this year.
This is the latest pivot by the league due to the pandemic. The 2020 NFL Draft was held entirely virtually from Commissioner Roger Goodell's basement. The league raised over $100 million for frontline workers in the process. All preseason games were canceled to allow for a ramp-up period with the absence of an offseason program and the league's regular season schedule has been shifted around to account for player safety.
Allegiant Stadium will host the 2022 Pro Bowl and Vegas is also scheduled to host the 2022 NFL Draft.