NFL Onside Kick Rule Change Proposal Reportedly Gaining Support Around League

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 21, 2020

Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker (6) kicks an onside kick during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

There is reportedly growing support around the NFL for a proposed rule change that would give teams an alternative to the onside kick. 

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the proposal would give teams a chance to maintain possession by going for it on a fourth-and-15 from their own 25-yard line instead. 

Pelissero noted teams wouldn't be allowed to do this more than two times per game if the rule is changed. 

According to the NFL Operations Department, a total of seven rule changes will be voted on by teams during the league's virtual meetings. 

Other notable rules that will be voted on include the addition of a booth umpire as an eighth official to game crews and expanding automatic replay reviews for scoring plays, turnovers negated by a penalty and all successful or unsuccessful "Try" attempts.

Per Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the Denver Broncos originally proposed the rule change at the league's annual meetings in March 2019. 

Maske noted the competition committee voted 7-1 in favor of the proposal, but owners ultimately voted it down. 

This year, it was the Philadelphia Eagles who proposed the onside kick rule change. 

The rule was given a test run in January during the Pro Bowl. The NFC opted to try going for a fourth-and-15 conversion trailing by five with less than five minutes remaining, but Kirk Cousins' pass was intercepted by Earl Thomas. 

All proposals must receive support from at least 24 NFL owners to be adopted by the league.

  

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