Depending on what NFL owners agree to at next week's league meetings, teams might be able to regain the services of a player who was seriously injured during the regular season, the trade deadline could be moved, overtime policies could become uniform and the penalty for having too many men on the field could be altered.
The NFL Competition Committee announced during a conference call Wednesday that it will introduce multiple rule changes and bylaw proposals to ownership next week in Palm Beach, Fla., including the following:
» Making the penalty for having too many men on the field a dead-ball foul. This stems from an incident that took place during the most recent Super Bowl. With the New York Giants' defense illegally having 12 men on the field, the New England Patriots ran a play and wound up losing valuable time, although they gained 5 yards. The new proposal would immediately stop the play and make it a 5-yard infraction.
» Making the playoff overtime rules, which give one team possession in overtime should the team that had the ball first kick a field goal, also apply during the regular season. Coaches would prefer a uniform approach to this so they can prepare the same way in the playoffs as they do during the regular season. The existing regular-season rule allows a team to win in sudden death, should it kick a field goal on the opening possession.
» Allowing a player who's seriously hurt after the first week of the season to be placed on injured reserve and return later that season. Teams tend to place a player with a significant injury sustained early in the season on IR to open a roster spot, ending the injured player's season. In this instance -- think Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant in 2010, when he hurt his foot -- a player who has been placed on IR could be designated to return in the future.
» Having replays viewed solely by the official in the booth, not the referee on the field. "This proposal will definitely spark some discussion," Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons and chairman of the committee, told The Associated Press about possibly taking away review responsibilities from the refs. "We developed our system based on the last time we had replay. That's how we developed the referee to be the decision maker."
» Automatically having turnovers reviewed.
For any rules to be changed, 24 of the 32 teams have to vote for approval of these and other suggestions from the competition committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.