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NFL Owners Adopt a Total of 10 Rules Proposals at Annual Meetings

Ten rules proposals have been approved this week at the annual NFL Owners Meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.

The Injured Reserve/Designated to Return rule has been modified. Now, teams do not have to designate a player to return when they place him on injured reserve. However, a player must be on IR for at least six weeks before they can return. As it was prior, only one player may be brought back.

Any player flagged for two specific unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in a game will be automatically ejected.

According to, these are fouls that would draw such an ejection (a player would have to be penalized twice for one of or a combination of the following):

    1. Throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.*

2. Using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League.

3. Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.

The player will be automatically disqualified regardless of whether the penalty is accepted or declined by the opponent. The fouls do not have to be judged by the official to be flagrant for the automatic disqualification to occur, and any foul that occurs during the pregame warm-up period will carry over into the game.

Also, The spot of the snap after a touchback has been changed from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line.

The ejection rule and the 25-yard line spot after a touchback have been adopted on a one-year trial basis.

Here are the rule changes that were approved Tuesday:

1.   By Competition Committee; Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team's 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.

2.   By Competition Committee; Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches' booth.

3.   By Competition Committee; Makes all chop blocks illegal. 16. By Competition Committee; Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.

  1. By Competition Committee; Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.
  1. By Competition Committee; Eliminates the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.
  1. By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.
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