Pro Bowl rosters to be determined in a draft

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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 said 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.

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.

EAGLES: Wide receiver Riley Cooper says he’s “ashamed and disgusted” with himself for making a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney comment that was caught on video.

The video of Cooper making the slur surfaced Wednesday on the Internet.

“I want to apologize. I have been offensive. I have apologized to my coach, to Jeffrey Lurie, to Howie Roseman and to my teammates,” Cooper said in a statement released by the team. “I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences.”

Cooper has 46 catches and five touchdowns in three years with the Eagles.

BRONCOS: Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was helped off the field after hurting his left ankle in a drill Wednesday at training camp.

Asked his level of concern over the injury after practice, coach John Fox said, “Not overly. But anytime they miss time, I’m concerned.”


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