Advertisement

Troy Vincent: "No question" there will be a proposal to change kickoff rules

The NFL adopted new rules for fair catches on kickoffs last year and one of the league's top executives said Monday that there will be another proposed change coming this year.

Executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said that there is "no question" that a proposal is coming this offseason. Last year's rule change, which gave teams the ball at the 25-yard-line if they called a fair catch inside the 25, led to just 22 percent of kickoffs being returned and the league's goal is to see that number go up.

“We know we won’t go back into what we saw last year, when it became a ceremonial play," Vincent said, via Judy Battista of NFL Media.

The NFL made last year's change to limit the number of concussions on kickoffs and the question for the Competition Committee and teams is what change they can make to increase returns without seeing a rise in head injuries. One idea has been to borrow the XFL's approach to kickoffs, but that is not believed to have enough support from teams — 24 votes are needed to adopt a new rule — to pass.

Last year's rule change was made on a one-year basis, so the kickoff will revert to 2022 rules in the event no change is approved this offseason.