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Goodell had expressed his displeasure with this year’s game several times, acknowledging it could be scrapped if the level of play doesn’t improve.

“The issue is we recognize it is an all-star game, but we also believe fans expect more from an NFL game,” he said recently. “If we believe we can achieve that, we want to give them every opportunity to do that.”

For last January’s game, TV ratings were strong, with 12.5 million viewers, making the Pro Bowl the most watched of all all-star games for the 2011 season.

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Associated Press writers Oskar Garcia and Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu contributed to this report.