NFL owners extend trial period for touchbacks to 25

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NFL kickoffs never will be the same.

If that wasn’t clear before Tuesday, it certainly appears so now.

Owners approved a one-year extension to a rule that temporarily was enacted in 2016, the league announced. The rule change follows what the NCAA introduced in 2012: Following a touchback, the line of scrimmage is the 25-yard line instead of the 20. Last season saw the touchback frequency spike from the 5-yard incentive, an effect the league sought in the name of player safety.

This temporary rule soon may become permanent.

Another year of similar data could do the trick.

NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said last week that 39.3 percent of kickoffs were returned last season, the “lowest rate of return in NFL history.”

11 responses to “NFL owners extend trial period for touchbacks to 25

  1. Am i the only one who doesn’t remember or notice all the alleged injuries on kickoffs?

    They make it out like every kick return is hitting the beach in Saving Private Ryan and they have to reduce the carnage. They must be running stretchers out on the commercial because i’m not seeing any more injuries on kicks than other plays.

  2. One outcome of this is increased importance of coverage on Special Teams. Teams with good kickers (land it inside the 8 yard line) and coverage teams (tackle before the 25) end up with a net benefit. I actually think it makes for some strategy on this usually perfunctory play.

  3. NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino…
    Can / Will someone tell me please who the President of officiating is???? I’m being very serious. There’s got to be one right?

  4. NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino: I have a serious question, if he’s Sr V.P. of officiating, who’s the President of officiating? I’m really not being facetious or sarcastic. I really want to know. Someone please explain.

  5. ‘Baghdad Bob’ Blandino is proud to announce that one of football’s
    most exciting and entertaining plays, the kickoff return – has now been
    reduced to a mere 39.3 percent, and decreasing.
    The NFL, in it’s wisdom, is working hard to eliminate it completely.

    Yeeeeeah! let’s celebrate football fans!

    This non-kick off return was brought to you by ….
    we’ll be right back following these important messages.

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