Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! We’ve got more NFL rule changes to talk about! The owners voted to approve three more rule changes on Wednesday, two on a one-year trial basis, to go along with the seven snoozers they approved on Tuesday.
Perhaps the most significant change is that touchbacks will now be spotted at the 25-yard line, rather than the 20. The rallying cry around this one was — you guessed it — player safety.
Essentially, the kick returner will now be rewarded an extra five yards for doing nothing. It’s an obvious attempt to limit the number of returns, which makes the game less exciting.
And congratulations on that.
Maybe we should just place the ball at the 50 as a reward for not returning the kick. That should eliminate that part of the game for good.
If there’s a bright side here, it’s that this rule is one of the two on a one-year trial.
The other is the much talked about two personal fouls result in a disqualification rule.
Thankfully, the rule doesn’t apply to any personal foul, such as a facemask penalty. It only applies to dead ball personal fouls. So, something like this would qualify.
I always enjoy digging that up. Always great for a laugh.
The final rule change approved on Wednesday pertains to injured reserve. Teams can now retroactively give a player on IR the designated to return label.
Essentially, if someone on injured reserve recovers faster than expected, they can be designated to return after the fact, instead of sitting out the entire season. Previously, teams had to use the designation on a player when they first placed him on injured reserve.
That didn’t work so well for the Packers in 2015. They used the designation on God’s Gifts, brought him back and then ended up placing him on injured reserve again late in the year.
The only thing that would make football safe is to go back to leather helmets.
On the flip side of the touchback rule; the kicking team will hopefully reduce the number of attempts to kick it through the end zone to avoid the touchback. So I can see more kicks that drop around the goal line which will entice the returner to catch and run.
With the right kicking style… I think you may have hit the nail on the head.