NFL rule changes: Eagles table onside kick alternative proposal

Dave Zangaro
·3 min read
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Eagles table their proposal for an onside kick alternative originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The NFL on Wednesday officially approved seven playing rules changes for the 2021 season but the Eagles’ proposal to add an onside kick alternative was not among them.

While the Eagles reportedly still support the idea of this rule passing in the future, they have tabled it for now. It presumably didn’t have the requisite support.

Here are some more details from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:

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Like that tweet from Pelissero mentions, one of the rules that passed is on a trial basis for this year. The rule trial limits the amount of players in the “setup zone” to nine, which — at least in theory — should help create an increased onside kick success rate.

The Eagles’ rule proposal was much more fun. Here was the gist:

Instead of an onside kick, teams would have the option of a 4th-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line to retain possession. The language of the proposal would allow for a team to do this just twice in a game.

If the offense gets a first down, they retain possession at the spot. If the defense gets a stop, they assume possession at the dead-ball spot. Teams can still attempt a normal onside kick as well.

It sounds like fun but we’ll have to wait at least one more year for it to pass. In the meantime, we’ll see how this competition committee rule changes onside kick success rates.

The only other rule change proposal the Eagles submitted also failed to pass. The Eagles and Ravens submitted a proposal to change overtime and create a sudden-death format. That rule proposal needed more work.

But here are the seven rule changes that did pass:

1. By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 16, to eliminate overtime in the preseason.

2. By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 3, for one year only, to establish a maximum number of players in the setup zone.

4. By Competition Committee, Coaches Subcommittee, and Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, and Rule 19, Section 2, to permit the Replay Official and designated members of the Officiating department to provide certain objective information to the on-field officials.

5. By Chicago; to amend Rule 11, Section 3, Article 3, to ensure the enforcement of all accepted penalties committed by either team during successive Try attempts.

6. By Los Angeles Rams; to amend Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2, to add a loss of down for a second forward pass from behind the line and for a pass thrown after the ball returns behind the line.

7. By Kansas City Chiefs; to amend Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2, to expand jersey number options for certain positions.

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