In order to minimize injuries, the Pro Bowl plays modified rules that protect the players. Basically, pass rushes are shut down, and standard formations are used. A summary of the rule modifications from the league’s Record and Fact Book:
- The offensive formations must have a tight end and have no more than two receivers on either end. No motion or shifting is allowed.
- The defense must line up in the standard 3—4 formation, evenly spaced, with linebackers in a two-point stance (three-point stance permissible in goal-line situations). Outside linebackers can rush the quarterback in short yardage or inside the 5-yard line.
- Safeties must play man-for-man or with limited zone coverage (3-deep with strong-safety rotating and no 5-deep zones).
- Intentional grounding rules are relaxed when the quarterback throws to the line of scrimmage to avoid a sack.
- On punts, the defense can rush 6 players, 3 per side. On placekicks, the nose tackle can be the 7th rusher.
If the game ends in a tie, they will play an overtime period.
For the second season, players selected from the two Super Bowl teams will not compete in the Pro Bowl.