Several NFL Teams Propose Rule Changes To Add More Instant Replay, Including For Penalty Calls

Videos by OutKick

Were you watching NFL games this season thinking, “you know what this game needs? More instant replay!” If that’s you, then I have some really good news!

Several NFL teams submitted proposals for potential rule changes. Of course, all rules will need to be reviewed and then voted on. In order for a rule to be adopted, 75% of owners must approve the rule (24 out of 32).

Of the major rule proposals, the Eagles have officially requested to allow players to wear the jersey number “0” starting next season.

Additionally, they proposed allowing a 4th-and-20 play to replace the onside kick as a way for a scoring team to retain possession. That’s interesting and worthy of further discussion.

But for now, I want to look at the other proposals because six of the nine items on the docket pertain to instant replay and/or coach’s challenge.

Chargers, Lions, Texans and Rams all propose rule changes to NFL’s instant replay/coach’s challenge system

Here are the official proposals (credit to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero):

  • By Los Angeles Chargers; amends Rule 4, Section 6, Article 3 and Section 7, Article 4, to make the adjustment of the play clock following an Instant Replay reversal consistent with other timmg rules.
  • By Detroit; amends Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, to expand the coaches’ challenge system to include personal fouls called on the field.
  • By Detroit; amends Rule 15, Section l, to provide clubs more opportunities for a third challenge.
  • By Detroit; amends Rule 15, Section 3, to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for consultation regarding penalty assessment.
  • By Houston; amends Rule 15, Section l, Article 2, to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for review on failed fourth down attempts.
  • By Los Angeles Rams; amends Rule 15, Section I and Section 3, to make fouls for Roughing the Passer called on the field subject to replay assist and/or review by a coach’s challenge.
Several NFL teams proposed changes to the instant replay system, including potentially reviewing penalty calls.
Several NFL teams proposed changes to the instant replay system, including potentially reviewing penalty calls. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Jets also proposed expanded the “crackback block” rule, but that’s a bit inside football. Let’s focus on potential instant replay changes.

First, I’m not necessarily against penalties as part of instant replay. Infractions like roughing the passer, pass interference and others can be game-changing plays. Not allowing them to be reviewed is certainly an issue.

Plus, we saw how much bad officiating affects the NFL, especially on Championship Sunday. That’s despite Commissioner Goodell’s ridiculous claims to the contrary.

Replay already slows down the game, can you imagine more of it?

We can’t get to a point where every, single NFL play goes under review. But that’s where we’re trending. Think about it. It’s not just penalties that are called; what about the ones that aren’t?

Are we going to review missed penalty calls? The Lions want coaches to be able to challenge three times per game. Those are in addition to all scoring plays and turnovers automatically subject to review.

And the Texans want to add failed fourth downs to the automatic review plays. Anything else?

NFL referee Clay Martin looks at instant replay during a game.
NFL referee Clay Martin looks at instant replay during a game. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If the NFL can figured out a way to implement the “expedited review” on a broader scale, then we can have a conversation. Have a “Sky Judge” whose sole job is to quickly watch replays and deliver the information instantly to on-field officials.

Perhaps have multiple “Sky Officials” to make it even quicker. But we can’t have the antiquated “referee under the hood” happening 6-10 times per game. It’s just not sustainable.

I like that teams are trying to make the game better. But let’s actually make the game better.

More instant replay does not make the game better.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

Leave a Reply