Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that NFL owners agreed to change the bylaw and increase the number of players that can be designated to return from injured reserve from two to three.
According to Pelissero, NFL owners also approved three rule changes during their Thursday meeting including:
- By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
- By Competition Committee; expands defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
- By Competition Committee; prevents teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
The NFL allowed teams to designate a player to return a few years ago and eventually increased it to two.
Special teams plays have been a major focus for the in terms in terms of player safety over the past few years, so it’s not surprising to see them include additional protection for defenseless players.
The game clock rule change stems from teams exploiting a loophole that allows them to run time off the clock. The Patriots and Titans both did this last season.