The NFL season is scheduled to kick-off as usual in September. In heartening news to both players and fans, the league is planning to have fans in attendance. In going full steam ahead with the 2020 season, the NFL playing rules and bylaws were amended to iron out minor loopholes and help out teams.
As per a tweet by NFL Insider Adam Schefter a summary is provided for the Approved 2020 Playing Rules.
One of the changes includes the expansion of automatic replay reviews. This will be all set to include scoring plays. In addition to this, it will include turnovers negated by a foul as well as successful or unsuccessful Try attempts.
The second rule change sees the defenseless player protection expanded. Now it will include the kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but has not had time to “ward of the impending contact of an opponent.”
However, the “not enough time” hasn’t been specified and could be as per the referee’s discretion. This could present an interesting situation as the season unfolds.
A 3rd rule change will ensure teams do not manipulate the game clock “by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.“
As per NFL’s Network reports, “Teams are prevented from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running. The rule will eliminate the ability for teams to drain clock while in punt formation with more than 5 minutes remaining on the game clock.”
This became more prevalent this past year. Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots were notorious exploiters of the rule. However, he got a taste of his own medicine in the wild-card round against Tennessee Titans.
Finally, the league office increased the number of players eligible to return from the injury reserve list. It grows from the existing 2 to 3.
Meanwhile, the fourth and 15 alternative to the onside kick is yet to get an official vote. However, as per Tom Pelissero’s tweet, clubs are against the rule.
What do you make of the rule changes for the upcoming NFL season?