Pro Bowl 2016: TV Schedule, Live Stream and NFL Players Pool

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2016

Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Team Carter defensive end J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans (99) rushes during the third quarter in the 2015 Pro Bowl against Team Irvin at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There's no such thing as an off week in the NFL these days, with this weekend's impending showdown between Team Irvin and Team Rice at the 2016 Pro Bowl as the ultimate proof.

Due to iffy ratings and reception in the past, Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin are back in control of teams this year in the unconferenced format. The draft from the player pool will once again draw inspiration from fantasy football to hook viewers.

It's rather fitting that the Pro Bowl is in the headlines after what was the wildest season in recent memory, as it has been a hotbed for strange oddities in past years—which is a good thing. Here's a look at viewing info and the player pool, which continues to morph as players drop and get added in the wake of conference championship weekend.

 

Game Details

When: Sunday, January 31 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Television: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

 

NFL Players Pool

Offense
PositionPlayerTeam
QBTom Brady (I)New England Patriots
QBCam Newton (I)Carolina Panthers
QBCarson Palmer (I)Arizona Cardinals
QBTyrod Taylor (R)Buffalo Bills
QBJameis Winston (R)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QBTeddy Bridgewater (R)Minnesota Vikings
QBAaron Rodgers (I)Green Bay Packers
QBRussell WilsonSeattle Seahawks
QBBen Roethlisberger (I)Pittsburgh Steelers
QBDerek Carr (R)Oakland Raiders
QBEli Manning (R)New York Giants
RBJonathan Stewart (I)Carolina Panthers
RBAdrian PetersonMinnesota Vikings
RBLeSean McCoy (I)Buffalo Bills
RBTodd GurleyLos Angeles Rams
RBLatavius Murray (R)Oakland Raiders
RBDevonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons
RBDoug MartinTampa Bay Buccaneers
RBChris Ivory (R)New York Jets
FBPat DiMarco (R)Atlanta Falcons
FBMike Tolbert (I)Carolina Panthers
FBMarcel ReeceOakland Raiders
WRBrandon Marshall (I)New York Jets
WRJulio JonesAtlanta Falcons
WRCalvin Johnson (I)Detroit Lions
WRDeAndre HopkinsHouston Texans
WRA.J. GreenCincinnati Bengals
WRLarry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinals
WRAntonio Brown (I)Pittsburgh Steelers
WROdell Beckham Jr.New York Giants
WRAllen Robinson (R)Jacksonville Jaguars
WRJarvis Landry (R)Miami Dolphins
WRAmari Cooper (R)Oakland Raiders
TEGreg Olsen (I)Carolina Panthers
TEDelanie Walker (R)Tennessee Titans
TEGary Barnidge (R)Cleveland Browns
TETravis KelceKansas City Chiefs
TERob Gronkowski (I)New England Patriots
TETyler EifertCincinnati Bengals
OTTrent Williams (I)Washington Redskins
OTAndrew WhitworthCincinnati Bengals
OTJoe ThomasCleveland Browns
OTJoe StaleySan Francisco 49ers
OTTyron SmithDallas Cowboys
OTJason PetersPhiladelphia Eagles
OTBranden Albert (R)Miami Dolphins
CMike Pouncey (I)Miami Dolphins
CEric Wood (R)Buffalo Bills
CAlex MackCleveland Browns
CRyan Kalil (I)Carolina Panthers
CTravis FrederickDallas Cowboys
CNick Mangold (R)New York Jets
OGMarshal YandaBaltimore Ravens
OGLogan Mankins (R)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OGRichie Incognito (R)Buffalo Bills
OGTrai Turner (I)Carolina Panthers
OGJosh SittonGreen Bay Packers
OGZack MartinDallas Cowboys
OGMike IupatiArizona Cardinals
OGDavid DeCastroPittsburgh Steelers
Defense/Special Teams
PositionPlayerTeam
DEMuhammad Wilkerson (I)New York Jets
DEJ.J. Watt (I)Houston Texans
DEKhalil MackOakland Raiders
DEChandler JonesNew England Patriots
DEMichael BennettSeattle Seahawks
DEEzekiel AnsahDetroit Lions
DEEverson Griffen (R)Minnesota Vikings
DECarlos Dunlap (R)Cincinnati Bengals
DTKawann Short (I)Carolina Panthers
DTGerald McCoyTampa Bay Buccaneers
DTGeno AtkinsCincinnati Bengals
DTJurrell Casey (R)Tennessee Titans
DTCam Jordan (R)New Orleans Saints
DTAaron DonaldLos Angeles Rams
DTFletcher CoxPhiladelphia Eagles
DTCalais CampbellArizona Cardinals
OLBDeMarcus Ware (I)Denver Broncos
OLBVon Miller (I)Denver Broncos
OLBJulius Peppers (R)Green Bay Packers
OLBJustin Houston (I)Kansas City Chiefs
OLBTamba HaliKansas City Chiefs
OLBElvis Dumervil (R)Baltimore Ravens
OLBThomas Davis (I)Carolina Panthers
OLBLavonte David (R)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OLBJamie CollinsNew England Patriots
OLBSean Lee (R)Dallas Cowboys
ILBBobby WagnerSeattle Seahawks
ILBClay MatthewsGreen Bay Packers
ILBLuke Kuechly (I)Carolina Panthers
ILBNaVorro BowmanSan Francisco 49ers
CBAqib Talib (I)Denver Broncos
CBAdam Jones (R)Cincinnati Bengals
CBRichard ShermanSeattle Seahawks
CBDarrelle Revis (I)New York Jets
CBPatrick PetersonArizona Cardinals
CBMarcus PetersKansas City Chiefs
CBJosh Norman (I)Carolina Panthers
CBChris Harris (I)Denver Broncos
CBMalcolm ButlerNew England Patriots
CBDesmond Trufant (R)Atlanta Falcons
CBBrent Grimes (R)Miami Dolphins
CBJason Verrett (R)San Diego Chargers
CBVontae Davis (R)Indianapolis Colts
SCharles WoodsonOakland Raiders
SEarl Thomas (I)Seattle Seahawks
SHarrison Smith (R)Minnesota Vikings
SReggie Nelson (I)Cincinnati Bengals
SReshad Jones (R)Miami Dolphins
SMike Adams (R)Indianapolis Colts
STyrann MathieuArizona Cardinals
SKam Chancellor (I)Seattle Seahawks
SEric BerryKansas City Chiefs
KStephen GostkowskiNew England Patriots
KDan BaileyDallas Cowboys
PSam KochBaltimore Ravens
PJohnny HekkerLos Angeles Rams
PRDarren SprolesPhiladelphia Eagles
PRTyler LockettSeattle Seahawks
STMatthew SlaterNew England Patriots
STJustin BethelArizona Cardinals
LSMorgan CoxBaltimore Ravens
NFL.com; I=player replaced, R=replacement

Updating list available at NFL.com

 

What a pool, right?

As is the case most years, folks beat drums about snubs out of the gates. Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson was a popular one in the early going, which made sense after he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 scores—but he's now in the pool as a replacement.

These things tend to sort themselves out, especially with star-studded teams such as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers heading to the Super Bowl.

The draft also sorts things out. This year's spectacle goes down on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, where Irvin and Rice will square off in the selection process to make things official.

Flanking Irvin and Rice as assistants will be Darren Woodson and Eric Davis, respectively, to help with the defensive side of things.

Perhaps most interesting are the player captains. Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will man one side. Atkins earned the honor by being his usual dominant self, ranking as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the league at Pro Football Focus. Freeman was one of the year's breakout stars with 1,061 rushing yards and 11 scores.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham will man the other side as player captains. Donald was the only player on the list at PFF to rank ahead of Atkins, and Beckham posted another great season with 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Other than an interesting way to sort the teams and the obvious offensive-minded outbursts the game provides, it also continues to serve as a testing ground for quality-of-life improvements the league could implement as soon as next year. 

For example, the league will test a new communication system during the game to help alleviate complaints from coaches about headset issues. NFL.com shared the report:

At next week's Pro Bowl, the NFL will test a new and improved coach-to-coach communication system, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. If the test goes smoothly, the new system could be implemented for the 2016 season. The hope is the new system will end in-game communication issues that have been experienced by some teams.

With any luck, the testing ground will be the final stop before the changes go leaguewide next season.

At the least, the Pro Bowl has impressive leaders, innovations to help the game and unpredictable outbursts going for it. Some might decry the almost flag-football nature of the contest, but the guys are playing in Honolulu after a 17-week season and a grueling summer of training camp just for the right to suit up for the 17 weeks.

The nature of contest leads to, say, Nick Foles winning offensive MVP in 2014 and Matthew Stafford taking the prize last year.

With so many names still hopping in and out of the process and the draft on the way, there's a certain intrigue around the event. The NFL seems to have found a solid process to fill the weeklong gap before the Super Bowl, and at the least players get rewarded for a long season and the state of the league itself may improve in the process. 

At the end of the day, football is football. Fans can get their fix and see some of their favorite players for the last time Sunday evening.

 

Stats courtesy of NFL.com and are accurate as of January 26. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football FocusAll betting information courtesy of Odds Shark.

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