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March Mania

NFL to test alternative to onside kicks at Pro Bowl

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Stanley Morgan (17) and Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) fight for control of an onside kick during the second half Dec. 22, 2019 at Hard Rock Stadium. Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

The NFL will test an alternative to the onside kick during the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

While kickoffs no longer are used in the exhibition game, the teams will have two options at their disposal after scoring on the previous drive.

The first is to have the opponent start its drive at its own 25-yard line. The second option requires the scoring team to gain 15 yards on one play from its own 25-yard line, essentially making it a fourth-and-15 situation. Should the team gain 15 or more yards, it would retain possession. Should it fail, a turnover on downs occurs and the opposition gains possession at the spot of the dead ball.

The rule adjustment is the latest attempt to minimize injuries on kickoffs, which are considered one of the most dangerous plays in football.

Sunday's game also will use a different standard for false start penalties on receivers who are flexed from the line of scrimmage. Should a receiver flinch or move, he can avoid a penalty if he resets for one second prior to the snap and/or keeps one foot on the ground.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT in Orlando, Fla.