The NFL Owners meeting took place earlier this week, and along with it came a few new rules (and tweaks to previously added ones). One of the bigger stories is that the NFL has changed its regular season OT rules to compliment the current playoff OT rules (which makes sense, why have two sets of OT rules).
Along with the passing of the OT rule, the NFL added a few other minor changes, that could have a major effect on the game, two of which have been adopted from college football:
1) If the offensive team lines up with too many men on the field for more than 3 seconds, it will result in a dead ball, 5-yard foul. On the defensive side, too many men on the field at the snap will constitute a 5-yarder as well.
2) If a player kicks a loose ball and is flagged for it, his side will be given a loss of down
To coincide with the two new rules, the definition “defenseless player” has expanded to protect players on crackbacks, it is now illegal to hit them in their head and neck area. Turnovers, like scoring plays, will now be automatically reviewed from the booth, this after many coaches have complained that they should not have to risk their challenge flags on calls that need to be double checked anyway.
The last major rule isn’t really that big to those on the outside as it is to coaching staffs, and it only applies twice a year: teams playing night games on Christmas or Thanksgiving now have until 4PM EST to make roster changes.
Among some propositions that will be pushed to the May owner’s meeting include expanding the training camp roster from 80 to 90, but including unsigned free agents in the roster count. They will also discuss the possibility of moving the trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8, as well as injured reserve changes and roster exemptions for players who suffer concussions.