NFL reportedly will adjust where umpire is stationed

The NFL will inform teams Tuesday about tweaks to where the umpire will be stationed in the offensive backfield, The New York Times reported.

The adjustments are in response to a new rule that moved the umpire from the middle of the defense to 14 to 17 yards behind the offense for safety reasons. That was adjusted to 12 yards back after the Hall of Fame Game so the ball could be spotted quicker. Still, the rule drew criticism from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, whose team was penalized twice for snapping the ball before the umpire was in position during a preseason game Thursday.

The latest tweaks, made after a conference call that included members of the league's competition committee, include requiring the umpire only to be standing behind the deepest member of the offense, and quarterbacks can look at officials near the sidelines to get the go-ahead to snap the ball, rather than turn around and look for a signal from the umpire.

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