Proposal would include another referee and an alternative option to onside kicks
There may be some new rules this year as the NFL races to make sure the 2020-21 season starts on time. Yesterday, a few rule changes were proposed to NFL owners. The two major reforms the league is considering is adding another official to the game and a potential alternative to the onside kick.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers have both proposed the addition of a booth umpire as an official on the field. The official, who would be known as the “Sky Judge,” would be the eighth referee on the football field. Last month, the NFL competition committee came out in support of more on-field officiating.
Another proposal the league is considering is replacing onside kicks with a single offensive play. The idea, which was proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles, would give the team that just scored the ball back if they can successfully convert a 4th and 15 play from their own 25 yard-line. Under the proposal, a team could run that play at most two times per game. According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league has already tweaked the language of the proposal so that a team does not have to be trailing in order to run the play.
There is also one more proposal being considered by the league. The rule change would prevent teams from manipulating the game by committing multiple dead-ball penalties while the clock is still running. This loophole was exploited by the New England Patriots against the Jets in the regular season and later by the Tennessee Titans against the Patriots in the postseason.
The league is considering all these rule changes and many more for the upcoming season. At this time, the NFL has decided to abandon the pass interference replay review rule that was introduced last season. League owners are expected to vote on these rule changes during a virtual meeting that is scheduled for May 28th.