The Pro Bowl format changed during the 2022 season to a flag football contest between the best of the NFC and AFC.

While the NFL drew criticism in the past for a lack of genuine competition at the Pro Bowl, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby told Fox News Digital he preferred an actual game with pads and helmets rather than flags.

Maxx Crosby points

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby reacts after the Chicago Bears jumped the snap in the third quarter at Soldier Field in Chicago Oct. 22, 2023. (Jamie Sabau/USA Today Sports)

“It is what it is at this point,” he said. “I totally understand. It’s about the accolade. It’s not about the game itself anymore, and I totally get it because, I mean, realistically, there’s a lot of money on the line, and guys don’t want to get hurt. So, I get it. But, at the same time, I’d rather play football.”

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Crosby earned his third Pro Bowl nod after a phenomenal season with the Raiders. He won’t be able to play due to injuries. But he recalled how much he enjoyed his first Pro Bowl.

Maxx Crosby vs Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby reacts during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 25, 2023. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports)

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“On my first Pro Bowl I got in 2021, it was an actual football game wearing full pads. We took care of each other, but we were also pass rushing a little bit and getting after it when it mattered,” said Crosby, who spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of Invisalign. 

“I had an absolute blast out there. So, I prefer that. That’s how I grew up watching it. That was an actual football game. But, I mean, where the world is now is not where it was two years back. So, it is what it is.”

Maxx Crosby vs Tommy DeVito

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) waits for the New York Giants to snap the ball during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nev., Nov. 5, 2023. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports)

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This year’s Pro Bowl Games are being hosted by Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

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