Fourth-and-15 onside kick alternative tabled before owners vote

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There will be no alternative to onside kicks as a way for teams to maintain possession of the ball during the 2021 season.

The Eagles proposed adopting a rule that would allow for teams to run one fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line. Converting would allow them to maintain possession while failing would give the opposing the team the ball inside their own territory.

NFL owners are voting on proposed rule changes Wednesday, but they won’t be voting on the Eagles’ proposal. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the proposal has been tabled by the Eagles.

Word last week was that the proposal would be rejected with a proposal from the Competition Committee likelier to pass. That proposal would limit teams receiving onside kicks to nine players in the setup zone 10-25 yards from the spot of the kickoff.

Rules limiting how kicking teams can line up have made it very difficult to recover onside kicks in recent years and both proposed changes were devised to improve the odds of a team mounting a comeback in the final minutes of games.