Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

What changes could be coming to NFL kickoffs?

Ryan Hannable
May 17, 2018 - 10:40 am

Next week at the spring league meeting, NFL owners will be presented with several rule changes to the kickoff designed to help improve player safety.

In order to pass, they must be approved by 24 of the 32 NFL owners.

Here are some of the highlights, which were detailed in a diagram from the NFL's Michael Signora on Wednesday.

-- Players will no longer be able to get a running start prior to the kickoff, as players on the kicking team cannot line up more than one yard behind the kickoff line. Right now, they can line up up to five yards behind the line.

-- No more wedge blocks.

-- When the ball hits the end zone, it's immediately ruled a touchback.

--  Receiving team players cannot cross the restraining line (45-yard line) until the ball is touched or hits the ground. This will help eliminate high-speed collisions, as return blockers will now retreat back towards the ball before blocking.

Comments ()