NFL Competition Committee Recommends Replay for Interference, More Penalties

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints' Tommylee Lewis during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game in New Orleans. The NFL’s competition committee discussed the league’s replay system during its annual meeting in Indianapolis but reached no consensus on possible changes. And it may not recommend any major alterations. Officiating and the use of replays have been under scrutiny since a missed pass interference call and helmet-first hit in the final two minutes of the NFC championship game helped the Los Angeles Rams force overtime and eventually reach the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The NFL Competition Committee has recommended several potential rule changes for next season, including possible alterations to the use of replay, per The Athletic's Lindsay Jones: 

Lindsay Jones @bylindsayhjones

NFL competition committee is recommending a proposal for a one-year trial of expanding reviewable plays to include pass interference, roughing the passer and unnecessary contact on defenseless player. https://t.co/7yZ4oCvbfm

The proposed replay rule changes would allow pass interference calls to be reviewable. There would also be an extension of automatically reviewed plays including scoring plays and turnovers that were negated by a penalty.

A secondary proposed change to the replay rule could include allowing pass interference, roughing the passer and unnecessary conduct against a defenseless player to be reviewed.

The league will review 16 proposals altogether at Sunday's meetings, including seven from the Competition Committee and nine submitted by teams. 

The committee's changes include a permanent change to the kickoff rules started last season as well as new rules to prevent blindside blocks. 

Among the notable team-submitted rules, the Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to allow both teams to get the ball in overtime. This shouldn't be a surprise after the Chiefs lost in overtime of the AFC Championship Game without their offense seeing the field. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots scored a touchdown on the first possession, ending the Chiefs' season.

Four teams also submitted that player-safety fouls should be subject to replay review.

However, the potential to review pass interference could be the most impactful change for the upcoming season.

While it is often considered a subjective call, certain penalties have had a dramatic impact on games. Most notably, the Los Angeles Rams benefitted from a no-call against the New Orleans Saints despite clear contact by Nickell Robey-Coleman on TommyLee Lewis.

There were other factors, but this apparent missed call helped the Rams win the NFC Championship Game.

Replays will likely also come with some controversy, but the NFL is at least considering the impact it could have on the game.