The Pro Bowl – aka the NFL’s version of the All-Star Game – has long needed a makeover, and this year, it gets it. It is now known as the Pro Bowl Games and includes two-days of skill competitions, one of which took place Thursday from the Las Vegas Raiders’ training facility. The second takes place on Sunday from Allegiant Stadium and is capped off by three flag football games.
Skill position players from the AFC and the NFC will compete in the first two flag football games. Before the final game, the points each conference earned in the skills competitions and the first two flag football games are added up for the starting score of the final flag football game. And then the two conferences play for Pro Bowl glory and cash prizes. Participants on the winning team get $84,000 each, and the losers get $42,000 each.
You can watch Sunday’s activities starting at 3 pm ET/Noon PT on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+.
On Thursday, a warrant was issued for Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Joe Mixon, who was facing a misdemeanor menacing charge. The claim is that Mixon pointed a firearm at a woman on January 21, the day before the Bengals’ divisional round win over the Buffalo Bills.
By Friday, the charge was dismissed, with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office saying it needed to investigate the matter further. With this in mind, the charge could be refiled down the road.
Rise in NFL Concussions
Per data released by the NFL on Friday, the 2022 season saw 149 concussions in over 271 games, which is an 18% jump from 2021, which saw 126 concussions. 130 concussions were suffered from 2018-2020. This is a disturbing trend.
Per ESPN, Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, points to a “broadened and strengthened” definition of what a concussion is as one of the factors contributing to the rise. Sills also said medical staffs performed an average of 1.6 concussion evaluations per game, and that the number of medical timeouts by independent spotters and on-field officials nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022.
Overall, preseason and regular season injuries were down 5.6% across the league.
According to multiple reports, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving would like to be traded before next Thursday’s trade deadline. Irving will be a free agent after this season, and though he and the Nets were involved in extension talks, they did not come to a deal.
Since losing Kevin Durant to an MCL sprain, the Nets have lost seven of their last 11 games. Irving was suspended eight games this season for a social media post that promoted a movie and a book with antisemitic themes. He is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Irving was named a 2023 All-Star last month.
All eyes are on the Los Angeles Lakers, as LeBron James is just 63 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record of 38,387 career points. Abdul-Jabbar has had the record since April 1984. Tinseltown, amirite?
James had 26 points in Thursday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers. The King is averaging 30.1 points per game this season, which means he could set the record Thursday night when the Lakers host Milwaukee Bucks at Crypto.com Arena. May the odds be ever in your favor, LeBron.