As of Tuesday night, the NFL’s competition committee passed six rule changes that will go into effect next season, including five that were done in the name of player safety.
▪ A team-neutral spotter positioned in the press box will now be able to stop play if a player appears to be displaying obvious signs of disorientation or is clearly unstable.
▪ Players are no longer allowed to push their teammates on the line of scrimmage on attempts to block punts.
▪ All offensive players are now prohibited from engaging in “peel back” blocks, which is defined as the initiation of contact on the side and below the waist of opponents. Previously, only offensive linemen within the tackle box were prohibited from doing so.
▪ The “defenseless player” posture has now been extended to intended receivers immediately following interceptions. The rule previously protected quarterbacks and receivers in the process of making catches.
▪ Running backs are no longer allowed to chop block a defenseless player outside of the tackle box.
▪ A game clock review can now occur, via instant replay, on the final play of a half or overtime. This is the only rule that was not passed in the name of player safety; it was instead changed to allow a timing error at the end of a half or overtime to be reviewed and corrected.