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Tuesday's NFL: Pro Bowl adding twist to scoring

Associated Press

Orlando, Fla. — The Pro Bowl is adding a new twist that could reward teams for taking a risk.

The NFL announced that its upcoming all-star game in Orlando will feature a rule change that allows a team to keep the ball after it scores.

Browns' Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to make full recovery from core muscle surgery.

The scoring team can retain possession at its own 25-yard line and face a fourth-and-15 play. Pick up a first down, and the offense gets a new set of downs.

Fail to gain 15 yards, and it’s a turnover on downs and good field position for the other conference.

The scoring team also could elect to give the opponent the ball at the opponent’s 25-yard line, much like a kickoff that results in a touchback.

The 2020 Pro Bowl also tweaked rules regarding pre-snap penalties.

It is no longer a false start if a flexed, eligible receiver in a two-point stance flinches or picks up one foot as long as his other foot remains partially on the ground. He also must reset for a second before the snap.

A receiver who fits this exception is not considered to be in motion. It is a false start if all 11 offensive players are set for at a full second and any flexed, eligible receiver breaks his stance by picking up both feet.

Extra points

The NFL on Tuesday detailed its draft plans for April 23-25 on the city’s glittering Strip in Vegas, complete with a red carpet stage on the lake in front of the Bellagio hotel with boats ferrying players and VIPs to the action.

The league knows it has a long ways to go to match the previous road shows, particularly in Philadelphia and Nashville. It believes it has found the right place in the Nevada desert.

Those efforts will center on a prime area of the Strip across from Caesars Palace and in front of the Bellagio hotel.

The main stage for the draft will be constructed beginning April 3 next to Caesars Forum.

It will include a viewing zone in front of the High Roller observation wheel to watch the first-round selections on Thursday, the second and third rounds on Friday night and the remaining four rounds on Saturday.

... Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to make a full recovery following surgery on a core muscle injury that limited the star wide receiver during his first season with the Browns.

The three-time Pro Bowler played in all 16 games, but he didn’t make the same kind of game-breaking plays that made him so dangerous for the Giants.

... The Vikings have five additions to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, giving them eight players in the all-star game for their highest total in 10 years.

The players are quarterback Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), defensive end Everson Griffen, fullback C.J. Ham, linebacker Eric Kendricks and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were picked as replacements. Running back Dalvin Cook, defensive end Danielle Hunter and safety Harrison Smith were originally selected for Sunday’s game.