GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers isn’t at the Pro Bowl this week, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback is certainly curious to see how the NFL’s annual all-star game plays out. If it’s anything like last year’s, Rodgers expects the game not to be played in 2014.
The NFL plans on deciding the fate of the game by the time the league releases next season's schedule in April. And Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday in Honolulu. He said the NFL expects its players to play a game that fans will be proud of. If they don’t, the game may be canceled.
Rodgers was critical of the effort level of his NFC team last year and openly questioned it after the game; shortly thereafter, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell threatened to cancel the game, but it will be held Sunday at Aloha Stadium after discussions between the league and the player's union.
"Our hope is that the players will give the same effort and energy that allowed them to become roster members of this Pro Bowl," Anderson said.
Rodgers pulled out of the game because of ankle and knee injuries. In fact, all three NFC QBs pulled out of the game – Rodgers, Washington’s Robert Griffin III and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan – due to injury and have been replaced by the New York Giants’ Eli Manning, Seattle’s Russell Wilson and New Orleans’ Drew Brees.
Rodgers’ Packers teammate Clay Matthews also has pulled out of the game. The Packers will be represented by center Jeff Saturday and guard Josh Sitton, who is replacing San Francisco’s Mike Iupati as the 49ers prep for Super Bowl XLVII. Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his staff are coaching the NFC team.
“I’d be surprised if there isn’t some major changes to the Pro Bowl after the season,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com Tuesday. “I know I think they’re under contract for this year and I don’t know if there’s another contract in place. I would guess there’d be some changes, now, I don’t know if that means move it to the states again, or change the format, or just do away with it entirely, I think the league has some stuff to talk about but I do know that there has got to be some changes coming with that.”
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