The NFL is not expected to make any changes to the controversial catch rule or what plays can be reviewed, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. The league's competition committee is meeting this week to discuss rule changes to recommend to the 32 team owners at next week's annual owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.
In all, 19 rule changes are under proposal for 2016.
The league received a couple of proposals that would broaden the rules on what plays could be reviewable. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has stated in the past that he believes every play should be reviewable and Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has expressed his support for this idea. The NFL, however, is concerned about that doing so would lead to "too many unintended consequences," according to Rapoport.
The Baltimore Ravens proposed that the league expand the number of challenges given to each team from two to three, and the Ravens also asked that the league expand the types of plays that are reviewable. Washington proposed that the league expand reviews to include personal foul penalties.
The league will also "tweak" the rules on chop blocks and horse collars to increase safety. The competition committee has recommended that all chop blocks be illegal and has proposed to expand the definition of a horse collar. The NFL will also institute an automatic ejection for any player who receives two unsportsmanlike conduct personal fouls in a single game, though it's still working out which specific penalties would fall under this umbrella.
But the NFL's decision to not touch the often-confounding catch rule will attract the most attention. The lack of clarity in the rule book has led to myriad controversial plays over the past two years and become a running joke in and outside of the league. Rapoport doesn't state why the competition committee is uninterested in addressing the rule, though Dean Blandino, the NFL's head of officials, has in the past expressed his support for the current iteration of the rule.
In other bad news, the NFL also doesn't plan on shortening the preseason schedule, according to the Washington Post. It will, however, mercifully consider doing away with overtime in preseason games, thanks to a proposal by Washington.
Any rule-change proposal must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 NFL teams. Teams will vote on the proposed changes at the owners' meeting next week in Boca Raton, Fla.