NFL Tables Onside Kick Talks; Approves IR Tweaks, More Rule Changes

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas (2) attempts an onside kick against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

NFL owners have made some key decisions about four rule changes for the 2020 season. 

The list of new rules, obtained by ESPN's Adam Schefter, includes a bylaw change that increases the number of players designated to return from injured reserve during the season from two to three and permanently expanding replay reviews on all scoring plays, turnovers negated by a penalty and all successful or unsuccessful extra-point or two-point conversion attempts. 

One rule that won't change yet is the onside kick. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted owners tabled talks about implementing a 4th-and-15 alternative because an informal vote showed the proposal didn't have the support needed for approval. 

Owners had been discussing a number of rule changes proposed by teams and the competition committee earlier this offseason. 

Per the NFL's operations department, seven rule changes were proposed in April. 

The Philadelphia Eagles proposed an alternative to the onside kick that would allow teams trailing in games one opportunity to maintain possession by converting a 4th-and-15 from their 25-yard line instead of attempting an onside kick. 

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Another change proposed by the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers was adding a booth umpire to serve as an eighth game official. Pelissero reported Wednesday that the "sky booth" proposals were being withdrawn for vote. 

The NFL changed injured reserve rules in 2012 to allow teams to activate one player from the IR who was on the inactive list for eight weeks. Officials approved a modified version of that rule five years later, giving teams the ability to bring back two players. 

The league did test the onside kick alternative during the Pro Bowl in January. Kirk Cousins' pass intended for Kenny Golladay was intercepted by Earl Thomas late in the fourth quarter to preserve the AFC's 38-33 win.