NFL owners held a virtual voting session meeting on Thursday and the result of it was three new or changed rules being passed along with one new bylaw alteration.
Among the items that were passed by NFL team owners on Thursday was the expansion of player protection to a kickoff or punt returner in addition to increasing the number of players that may be designated for return from Reserve/Injured during a season from two to three in a bylaw change.
Also, owners voted to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
Finally, a loophole in the rules was also closed on Thursday and with that, teams will no longer be able to manipulate the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
One of the proposals up for a vote that was ultimately tabled for now was the post-score ‘fourth-and-15’ play, which would have allowed teams to try a fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line in lieu of an onside kick attempt.
It’s good to see the owners now allow up to three players to be designated for return from the Reserve/Injured list. Nee language was also added to the rule that now stipulates players must miss eight games and not eight weeks from the time they are originally placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list. Players also must still be on their team’s 53-means roster prior to being moved to the Reserve/Injured to qualify as a designated for return candidate.
The NFL also voted to move forward with a preseason test of the coaches’ Sky Judge booth umpire proposal, with existing replay officials serving in those roles. If the outcome of that test goes well, it could be implemented for the regular season.
Full details of the rules and bylaw that passed on Thursday are below.