National Football League adopts rule changes for 2020 season

Ruben Hill
May 29, 2020

The number of players eligible to return from injured reserve will grow from two to three players.

National Football League owners have tabled a proposal for an alternative to the onside kick with a fourth-and-15 play and approved testing expanded use of video replay in the preseason to aid in officiating. Onside kick success rates have plummeted over the past two seasons since kickoff rules were changed.

Making permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful try attempt.

One big concern with the rule was teams using the onside kick to run out the clock.

The last new playing rule expands defenseless player protections for kickoff and punt returners. Incorporates interpretations applicable to bye weeks during the regular season and postseason.

The NFL Network reports owners opted to table the fourth-and-15 alternative to the onside kick at a virtual league meeting, among other moves. "The rule will eliminate the ability for teams to drain clock while in punt formation with more than 5 minutes remaining on the game clock, which became more prevalent this past year". Let's say a team is trailing 30-15 with five seconds left and they score a touchdown (plus two-point conversion) with one second left that cuts the lead down to 30-23. Instead of trying to recover an onside kick, teams would have the option of attempting to convert a fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line.

Because the clock was running at the time of the first penalty, it kept running after the play clock was reset.

(7) If the offense is penalized on its one scrimmage down (fourth and 15), the offense can not elect to kick off after the penalty is enforced.

(8) Scrimmage kicks are prohibited. With the untimed onside kick alternative, that team would have a chance.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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