The San Francisco 49ers are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs with a league-high eight representatives for the Pro Bowl.
The game will be played on January 26th in Honolulu.
Interestingly, the new format will allow for players from the same team to play against each other. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will hold a “draft” on January 22nd to select their teams from a pool representing both the NFC and AFC.
So, unless Rice picks all 49ers – Deion also won a Super Bowl with San Francisco, and Rice, in 1994 – chances are that we could see NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Ahmad Brooks and Justin Smith trying to tackle Frank Gore and Vernon Davis.
In a report from CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, Bowman joked about the prospect of having to go up against the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher.
“That would probably be a weird thing and I might not tackle him,” Bowman said. “Just let him score and get his yards or whatever. Yeah, that’d be weird because that hasn’t happened since training camp.”
Gore – who is just 47 yards away from 10,000 for his career – echoed that sentiment.
“They better not hit me,” Gore said. “We are teammates.”
The new format for the Pro Bowl certainly creates some intriguing matchups. Although I’m not sure to the extent players actually exert themselves in the exhibition game, it should be interesting to see teammates go up against each other.