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NFL owners approve 8 rule changes

PHOENIX, Ariz. - NFL owners approved eight rule changes at their league meetings Tuesday in Phoenix, including one that dramatically alters the instant replay process.

Beginning this season, the sideline replay monitor will be replaced with a hand-held device and members of an officiating command center in New York headed by NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino will be designated to make the final decision on replay reviews.

Here are the other seven rule changes that were approved during meetings at the Biltmore Hotel:

  • Players will no longer be permitted to leap over the offensive line in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point.
  • The rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls becomes permanent.
  • The rule that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line would remain in place for a second season.
  • A receiver running a pass route will be given defenseless player protection.
  • Crack back blocks by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped, will be prohibited.
  • Committing multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock will be considered Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
  • Actions to conserve time after the two-minute warning of either half will be illegal.

A proposal that would reduce overtime in the preseason and regular season from 15 to 10 minutes reportedly was tabled.

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