Report: NFL Owners Pass Single-Digit Jersey, Preseason OT, Extra-Point Rules

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2021

Practice footballs lie in a bag on the turf during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Corey Perrine)
Corey Perrine/Associated Press

NFL owners have reportedly passed three new rules for the 2021 regular season. 

Per Albert Breer of The MMQB on Wednesday, the league has relaxed its rules on jersey-number designations, meaning that players at specific positions are no longer limited to certain numbers. 

For instance, the NFL rulebook requires quarterbacks to wear uniform numbers between 1-19 and running backs must wear numbers between 20-49. Players will now have more flexibility in that area.

Breer also reported an extra-point proposal from the Chicago Bears and a double-forward pass rule proposed by the Los Angeles Rams passed.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the league also did away with preseason overtime.  

Per ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the Kansas City Chiefs proposed the rule about relaxing jersey number regulations. 

Seifert noted the proposal from the Rams about the double-forward pass will result in a loss of down for any team that attempts a "second forward pass from behind the line and for a pass thrown after the ball returns behind the line."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady executed a double-forward pass against the Rams in Week 11. Brady's first pass was batted in the air at the line of scrimmage, but the ball fell back into his hands and he completed a 17-yard pass to Mike Evans on the play. 

The play officially went for an eight-yard gain since Brady lost nine yards on his reception before completing a pass to Evans. He was called for an illegal forward pass, but the old rule only called for a loss of five yards with no loss of down. 

Per Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith, the Bears proposed a rule to "ensure that all penalties are enforced if penalties are called on consecutive extra point or two-point conversion attempts."

The proposal stemmed from a 2019 game between the Bears and Denver Broncos when Denver was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty while lining up for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter after scoring a touchdown. Instead of trying a two-point conversion, the Broncos kicked an extra point from the 7-yard line. 

The Bears jumped offside on the extra-point attempt, giving the Broncos the chance to go for two from the 1-yard line. They converted the attempt to take a 14-13 lead. 

Chicago was able to win the game when Mitchell Trubisky led the offense down the field on six plays, setting up Eddy Pineiro's walk-off field goal as time expired.