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Lunchbreak: NFL to 'Re-Imagine' 2021 Pro Bowl


There will be no Pro Bowl game played following the conclusion of the 2020 season, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual all-star game will be canceled. Rosters, however, will still be named. The NFL wrote:

The NFL will continue to recognize the players' outstanding seasons and welcome fans to demonstrate their passion for their favorite players when voting for the 2021 Pro Bowl Roster begins on [Nov. 17]. The full Pro Bowl rosters will be revealed in December, where the players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts as one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who are selected to the Pro Bowl roster.

Additionally, the league will work closely with the NFLPA and other partners, to create a variety of engaging activities to replace the Pro Bowl game this season. This virtual recognition of the season's finest players will provide fans the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of their favorite stars.

The NFL and NFLPA's intention is to play a full regular and postseason schedule, culminating at the Super Bowl.

The league also announced that the 2022 Pro Bowl will be awarded to Las Vegas and played at Allegiant Stadium.

Fans can visit for more information and to enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2022 Pro Bowl.

PFF High on Adam Thielen & Julio Jones

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Adam Thielen is good at football.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has managed to spread the ball around a little bit more over the past couple of games, but that doesn't change the much-deserved accolades directed Thielen's way.

The Minnesota native was highlighted by analytics site Pro Football Focus, which rolled out its top 25 wide receivers heading into Week 6. PFF's Sam Monson ranked Thielen at No. 13. He wrote:

Adam Thielen is an exceptional technician at the position and shows just how good a receiver can be without having any extraordinary physical traits. He's big enough, he's fast enough and he's strong enough, but he isn't overwhelming defenders with any of those abilities.

What Thielen does well is win with his release, routes and ball skills. For his career, he has generated a 110.0 passer rating when the ball is thrown his way. And through five weeks of the 2020 season, he is the highest-graded receiver in the NFL, already catching six touchdowns thus far.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of January 4, 2021.

Thielen's six receiving touchdowns are tied with Tampa Bay's Mike Evans for the league's most in 2020.

Thielen was ranked behind the following receivers (from 1-12): DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals), Michael Thomas (Saints), Julio Jones (Falcons), Davante Adams (Packers), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), Chris Godwin (Buccaneers), Terry McLaurin (Washington Football Team), Keenan Allen (Chargers), Allen Robinson II (Bears), Stefon Diggs (Bills), Evans and Amari Cooper (Cowboys).

Note: Thomas has played only one game this season.

Monson wrote the following of Jones, whom the Vikings are scheduled to play on Sunday:

2020 has not been kind to elite receivers in terms of injuries, and Julio Jones is one such player who has missed time. He has actually been outshined by teammate Calvin Ridley in terms of production for the Falcons. Let's not allow three games to cloud five straight seasons of PFF grades above 90.0, however — Jones remains the single most imposing receiver in the game.

There are no real weaknesses to his game, even if the Falcons can't find a better way of getting him in the end zone more consistently. And even this year, throwing the ball his way is resulting in a passer rating of 109.0, almost 20 points higher than [Matt] Ryan's overall passer rating.