NFL approves rule changes to kickoffs and allows for replay review of ejections


The NFL today approved changes to kickoffs as well as replay review of all NFL player ejections.

The kickoff rule changes will be re-evaluated after the season.

The changes to kickoffs, designed to reduce high-speed collisions, include the following:

  • The elimination of running starts for kickoff coverage teams

  • A requirement that eight of the 11 men on the return team must be aligned in the “setup zone” within 15 yards of the ball

  • No blocking within the “setup zone” until after the ball touches the ground

  • The elimination of two-man wedge blocks

  • The kickoff team must have five men lined up on either side of the ball, a move that will limit schemes designed to get free runners in coverage down the field.

The NFL also tweeted out more details on the new kickoff rules.

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