The NFL competition committee has voted to expand the horse collar rule. Defenders are now prohibited from bringing down a runner by grabbing onto or above the name plate of his jersey.
The rule is one of a number of safety-related changes the NFL has voted to institute this week during the annual owner's meetings, which this year are taking place in Boca Raton, Fla. The league also voted to eliminate all chop blocks. Below are the seven new rules instituted by the competition committee on Tuesday.
- Permanently move the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team's 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.
- Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches' booth.
- Makes all chop blocks illegal.
- Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.
- Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.
- Eliminates the 5-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.
- Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.
In total, 19 rule changes were proposed. NFL teams made various proposals centered around replay rules and challenges, among other things, but none of those passed. All of the changes that have been approved by the competition committee were proposed by the competition committee.
The committee has not yet made a determination on its own proposal that a player should be ejected after being penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Also pending is a decision on the proposal to move the spot of the next snap after a touchback to the 25-yard line.