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Rule proposed to replace onside kicks tabled

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NFL owners meeting virtually Thursday did not approve a rule proposal that would have allowed teams to replace an onside kick with an untimed fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line.

The proposal was reportedly tabled for further discussion for the second straight year.

Three playing rules and one bylaw were adopted, however:

  • The league made permanent the expansion of replay to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, as well as extra-point tries.
  • Defenseless player protection will expand to include kickoff and punt returners who are in possession of the ball but have not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
  • Teams will be prevented from deliberately taking time off the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.
  • A new bylaw will increase the number of players that teams may designate for return from injured reserve each season from two to three.

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