NFL approves 3 rule changes for 2020

NFL approves rule changes for 2020
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
NFL approves rule changes for 2020

There are three minor changes to the rulebook in the upcoming NFL season, but the 4th-and-15 alternative to an onside kick was not developed enough to pass this year.

Under that proposed rule, the “kicking” team would have the option to convert on an untimed 4th and 15 from their own 25-yard line instead of an onside kick to retain possession. A team would only be able to use that new rule two times in regulation. But owners agreed there needs to be further discussion before there’s enough support for a vote.

Here are the main (and minor) changes:

1.) 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.

2.) Expand the defenseless player protection to kick and punt returners who are in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.

3.) Prevent teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.

In a Bylaws summary, owners also increased the number of players on IR (injured reserve) that teams can bring back from two to three.