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NFL owners adopt 9 rule proposals; change longstanding preseason custom

Starting in 2023, there will be just one roster cutdown day.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The NFL’s annual spring meetings continue at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. On Tuesday, owners considered and approved several resolutions and rule changes.

League owners approved a resolution that had been submitted by 25 of the league’s 32 teams — including the Kansas City Chiefs. Under this resolution, the longstanding practice of three preseason roster cutdowns will be reduced to a single cutdown from 90 players to 53 players. In 2023, this will take place on August 29.

Owners considered 17 rule change proposals. Nine of them have been adopted.

6 proposed by the league’s Competition Committee

  • Expanding the definition of a launch to taking the action with one or both feet
  • Making the tripping penalty a personal foul
  • Making the penalty for illegally handing the ball forward consistent with other illegal acts — such as illegal forward passes
  • Making the penalty for illegal punts, drop kicks, or placekicks consistent with other illegal acts — such as illegal forward passes
  • Preventing an offense from benefitting from an extension of the first half as a result of their penalty
  • Clarifying improper use of the helmet by removing the “butt, ram, spear” language from Article 8 and incorporating those terms into Impermissible Use of the Helmet rules.

3 approved rule changes proposed by teams

  • Eagles: amending Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2 to permit the use of zero (“0”) as a jersey numeral and to allow kickers and punters to use any jersey numeral between 0-49 and 90-99
  • Chargers: amending Rule 4, Section 6, Article 3 (and Section 7, Article 4) to make the adjustment of the play clock following an Instant Replay reversal consistent with other timing rules
  • Texans: amending Rule 15, Section 1, Article 2 to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for review on failed fourth-down attempts

2 of the committee’s proposed rule changes not approved

  • Moving punt touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line (voted down)
  • Providing that on a free kick (a kickoff or safety kick) that is fair-caught behind the receiving team’s 25-yard line, the ball will be placed at the receiving team’s 25-yard line (tabled)

6 other team proposals not approved

  • Eagles: amending Rule 6, Section 1 to permit a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play (fourth and 20 from the kicking team’s 20-yard line) for an onside kickoff attempt (tabled)
  • Lions: amending Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9 to expand the coaches’ challenge system to include personal fouls called on the field (withdrawn)
  • Lions: amending Rule 15, Section 1 to provide clubs more opportunities for a third challenge
  • Lions: amending Rule 15, Section 3 to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for consultation regarding penalty assessment
  • Rams: amending Rule 15, Section 1 (and Section 3) to make Roughing the Passer penalties subject to replay assist and/or review by a coach’s challenge (voted down)
  • Jets: amending Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 to expand the prohibition of crackback blocks to players who go in motion and go beyond the center to block (“split-flow block”) a defender below the waist (tabled)

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