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NFL cancels 2021 Pro Bowl Game due to COVID-19

The NFL has decided to cancel the 2021 Pro Bowl, opting to instead bring fans a "fun and interactive celebration of the best players in the game."
Credit: AP
Raiders fan Gabriel Andarde of Porterville, Calif., stands outside of Allegiant Stadium in costume before an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Las Vegas.

NEW YORK — The NFL announced Wednesday that the 2021 Pro Bowl game will be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pro Bowl was originally slated to be played in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium on Jan. 31. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be awarded to Las Vegas, per the league.

The league also announced that it is working with the NFLPA and other partners to create other virtual activities to replace the game. Fans will still be able to vote for players to the Pro Bowl roster starting Nov. 17, and the full rosters will be revealed in December.

The Pro Bowl is the latest event on the NFL calendar to be affected by COVID-19.

The 2020 NFL Draft, which also was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was held virtually this spring, and there were zero preseason games this year as teams solely conducted training camps to prepare for the season.

The NFL has endured a number of schedule changes in the past weeks as multiple teams have dealt with COVID-19 cases among players and club personnel. NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Sunday that a Week 18 scenario remains in play if necessary.

Credit: Getty Images
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens from the AFC Team talk with Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stressed Tuesday the need for "flexibility and adapting" as the season continues.

"We cannot grow complacent -- not the players, not of the coaches, not the rest of personnel," Goodell said.