NFL Owners Pass Three More Rule Changes

The NFL rule changes weren't finished, as the owners voted on a few more issues at the NFL Spring Owners Meeting on Tuesday. In total, three rules were changed, each of which are summarized after the jump:

  • More Clarification on "Defenseless" Players: In the past, defenseless players were those individuals who were not given an opportunity to complete a catch. The new verbiage in the rule book includes the following, per the NFL Network:
    • the receiver who "has not clearly become a runner,"
    • a kicker or punter during a return
    • a quarterback following a change of possession,
    • a player who takes a blindside block from an opponent "moving toward his own endline" and approaches from the back or side.

  • "Launching" Change: This is sort of more of a "clarification of the rule" change as opposed to a complete change. The launching rule is now more clearly stated to include:
    • players who leave both "prior to contact to spring forward and upward,"
    • players who "use any part of their helmet."
       
  • Blow to the Head of a Quarterback: This is the one rule I really appreciate the league changing, and I hope the officials call things right next season. When a defender makes contact with the quarterbacks head/helmet, it is no longer an automatic personal foul penalty. Instead, it will be at the official's discretion as to whether or not the contact warrants a penalty.
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