NFL owners approve player-safety rules to address dangerous blocks

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

NFL owners on Tuesday passed all four player safety rules proposed by the Competition Committee at the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, a league spokesman announced.

The new safety rules passed were:

  • Expanding the protection for receivers who are considered defenseless players. It would give the intended receiver protection following an interception, which would trigger a 15-yard penalty.
  • Making the chop block illegal by running backs outside the tight end, resulting in a 15-yard penalty.
  • Abolishing peel-back blocks by all offensive players, and not just those inside the tackle box, resulting in a 15-yard penalty.
  • Expansion of the rule that makes it illegal to push a teammate into the line to include punts as well as place kicks and will cause a 5-yard penalty.

Earlier in the day, the owners unanimously passed a rule that allows medical observers to call a time out to examine a play that might have been injured.

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