The NFL is expected to pass a new rule this week that will result in an automatic ejection for two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. But the league’s emphasis on ejections will go beyond that.
NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that the league will also remind officials that it’s in their power to eject players for flagrant rules violations, even if they don’t commit two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
“We will reaffirm that the rulebook does allow us some discretion when it comes to ejection,” Blandino said. “We’ll make sure they understand that they have that power and they shouldn’t shy away when it is necessary.”
The new two-strikes rule wouldn’t have resulted in Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. being ejected for his actions against Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, but Blandino said the officials should have ejected Beckham in that game anyway.
“I think everybody agreed that that was flagrant enough to eject. And that was the message to the game officials as part of the teaching and training after the fact,” Blandino said.
So new rule or no new rule, the officials will be told in 2016 that they’re empowered to throw a player out of the game.