The NFL has announced a number of new rule changes in advance of the 2016 season. Two of the most significant changes are being instituted on a trial basis.
First, the NFL is temporarily moving touchbacks on kickoffs up to the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line. The reason for this is because the NFL believes kickoffs are one of the most dangerous plays in the game.
Second, the NFL is instituting automatic ejection for players who get penalized twice for specific kinds of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. This new rule would have only led to two ejections (Brian Orakpo, Jahleel Addae) during the 2015 season so it might not be a big deal after all.
Here's another change that the NFL is making:
Interesting tweak to IR rule. Teams no longer have to designate one IR guy who can return when they put him on IR. Can do it after 6 wks.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 23, 2016
To answer a few questions here, still only one guy who can return from IR. Change is only that designation doesn't have to be immediate.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 23, 2016
Check out the entire list of approved 2016 playing rule proposals below.
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.
4. By Competition Committee; Disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. Amended to one-year only.
5. By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line. Amended to one-year only.
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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.
NOTE: Playing Rules Proposal No. 7 has been tabled for further discussion:
7. By Baltimore; Expands reviewable plays.