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Challenging Every Foul and Substitute for Onside Kick Make It to Teams’ Rule Proposals for NFL Annual Meeting 2024

Ayush Juneja
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Each year, NFL teams can propose changes or modifications to the rulebook. However, the league that houses 32 clubs has a complicated procedure for passing these rules. According to the NFL’s own website, the National Football League has a Competition Committee that looks after rule changes, tech changes, game day operations, roster regulation, player protection, and any other aspect of the game.

After the completion of each season, clubs are given a survey with questions about player protection, officiating, competitive balance, and technology. With input from coaches, the front office, and a review of data, the Committee presents a report of its findings to the 32 owners, who then vote to implement any proposed change. This year, in 2024, a day after the new league year, four franchises have submitted proposals for changes in the rulebook.

NFL insider Field Yates recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to showcase the four playing rule proposals submitted by teams this year. The teams that have put forward a proposal this year are the Lions, Eagles, and Colts.

Detroit Seeks to Amend Rule 15 Section 1 Article 1

According to the NFL Rule 15 Section 1, Artice 1, each team is permitted two challenges that will initiate Instant Replay reviews. Detroit seeks to change the rule that allows teams a third challenge if they can overturn the first two. The Lions are proposing that only one successful overturned call out of the two be required for the third challenge.

Philadelphia Urged to Change Rule 9 Section 2 Article 2

The NFL’s Rule 9 Section 2, Article 2 deals with “First Touching”. It states that if the team that has punted the ball, touches the ball first, that spot will be marked as the spot of first touch and the receiving team will start their offense from there. As per the current rule, the receiving team has the option of possessing the ball at the first touch spot, even if they have already gained the possession.

The Eagle’s rule change proposal seeks to remove the first touch spot after the receiving team gets possession.

Philadelphia Proposes Another Change and This Time in Rule 6

Philadelphia wants the NFL to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, regarding kickoffs. The Eagles plan to do away with an Onside kick, something they have been trying to replace for the past 3 to 4 seasons. An onside kick is often taken when the losing team has just scored and is actively trying to regain possession.

The pigskin, as usual, is placed at the 35-yard line, but the kicking team seeks to gain possession of it by recovering it after it crosses the 10-yard mark. If they touch the ball before it reaches or crosses 10 yards, they are penalized with loss of yards. However, they can recover the ball before it reaches 10 yards if the receiving team has touched the ball. This might just be one of the most exciting plays, but it is rarely successful.

The Eagles want to complement the Onside kick with an offensive play where the kicking team has the option of attempting 4th and 20 play from their own 20-yard line. If they succeed, the game will continue as normal. Notably, teams must notify the referees of their intent before the play.

Colts Wants the League to Allow a Challenge Inside the 2-Minute Warning Period

Indianapolis wants Rule 15, section 3 to be amended. At present, the NFL doesn’t allow coaches or replay officials to challenge a play or foul inside of the 2 minutes. Their proposal seeks to amend this rule by allowing the coach or replay official to challenge any penalty given on the field inside the two-minute warning period.

Putting all that aside, Philly has been trying to provide an alternative for many years but couldn’t get it passed and it seems like it won’t be any different this time. Detroit’s proposal makes much more sense as many other sports give the teams an extra challenge. The first touch rule is an obscure one and doesn’t affect the game much, which means the league won’t have much problem passing this one too. As for Colt’s proposal, allowing referral for every penalty will be a bit chaotic and seems unnecessary. For a rule to be added or amended, 75% of the owners need to pass the proposal.

According to NFL, the Falcons CEO Rich McKay, Bengals VP Katie Blackburn, Dolphins GM Chris Grier, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones, the Giants owner John Mara, Buffalo’s HC Sean McDermott, Rams HC Sean McVay, and Steelers HC Mike Tomlin are currently members of the NFL Committee that will decide if the present rules warrant any changes. They will submit their proposal to the owners at the annual meeting.

Post Edited By:Samnur Reza

About the author

Ayush Juneja

Ayush Juneja

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Ayush Juneja is an NFL Journalist at the SportsRush. New to Gridiron, he has been following the sport for past 9 months and has authored over 400 articles so far. As a sports enthusiast and a true adrenaline junkie, he finds the physical side of sports to be more thrilling and engaging. A big fan of Liverpool F.C., he now roots for another red team in San Francisco 49ers and would love to see a match at Levi's Stadium and Michigan Stadium. American culture and politics fascinates him and would love to experience it first hand.

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