Latest On NFL Rule Changes

The NFL discussed a set of rule changes on Thursday. Here is how the league opted to proceed:

  • A proposal to implement a fourth-and-15 play to replace the increasingly difficult onside kick was tabled, Tom Pelissero of tweets. This proposal would give teams the option of eschewing kickoffs for a 15-yard conversion — on an untimed down — twice per game. This marks the second straight year the league tabled such a proposal. But teams were split this time around. The unofficial straw poll had 16 teams for and 16 against, Mike Garafolo of notes (via Twitter). This rule, or something similar, will almost certainly be revisited again as some momentum now exists to adjust the onside kick.
  • The opposition to the fourth-and-15 proposal came largely from owners fearing it could be a bridge to eliminating the kickoff altogether, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The NFL pushed back against that perception, viewing the potential rule change as merely a way to help teams’ comeback efforts — now that the no-running-start rule has worsened onside kick recovery odds.
  • Both sky judge proposals did not even make it to a vote, with each being withdrawn in advance of Thursday’s discussions, Pelissero notes. But the league did approve a preseason experiment that may lead to such a change. The approval will allow for increased communication between on-field officials and those in the booth during this preseason, and NFL executive VP for football operations Troy Vincent said (via Kevin Seifert of it could be a bridge to adding a full-time booth official to each crew.
  • This preseason experiment partially stems from the NFL being concerned about having to hire 17 booth officials to act as sky judges, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske tweets. Fear of potential unintended consequences — as was the case in the one-and-done pass interference review system — prompted the league to scrap the sky judge proposals, per Florio. But the cost of hiring qualified booth officials almost certainly played a role, Florio adds.
  • Teams will have an additional IR spot this coming season. Three players can now return from IR.
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8 comments on “Latest On NFL Rule Changes

  1. TJECK109

    The whole thing of limiting the number of players on IR is extremely silly for a league focused on player safety. If you are going to require said player to miss 8 games I don’t see how it’s going to benefit for teams to manipulate. If anything you end up with hurt players on the roster that will never dress and take a spot on the active roster. Thus limiting the number of players available to practice.

    I really don’t like this rule at all.

  2. jorge78

    I think the 4 and 15 rule change would be exciting but maybe have it from the 30 or 35 yard line? Come on stuffy old
    No Fun League!

  3. DarkSide830

    i think the proposed replacement for the onsides kick isnt perfect yet, but there certainly should be some sort of replacement. also the not wanting to add the sky judge boggles my mind. seems these owners are just afraid of any change.

  4. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    If the big foo-fra about onside kicks is because it’s now such a low percentage play due to the “no running start” rule, just reverse that rule.

    • wagner13

      Exactly. Idk why the NFL has to constantly remove the special teams aspect from the sport. Stop meddling with the nature of the game. It’s as dumb as the MLB proposal automatically putting a runner on second once extra innings begin

  5. crosseyedlemon

    The PDF version of the NFL rules is 92 pages in length. Such absurd over regulation isn’t needed.

    • All American Johnsonville Dogs

      Sure it is. The minute the players started suing the league due to player safety issues is the minute documents like this became longer and more detailed.

      • crosseyedlemon

        So you believe a rule is needed stipulating the height at which socks must be worn? Frank Gore got busted on that at a cost of 10 grand…lol.

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