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Postseason overtime adopted for regular season

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  March 28, 2012 12:42 PM

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PALM BEACH, Fla. – The NFL concluded its annual league meetings today at The Breakers will votes on several rule and bylaw proposals.

The most significant change is that the overtime rules for the postseason – each team gets a possession unless a touchdown is scored on the initial possession, basically – has been adopted for the regular season as well.

The other major modification is that all turnovers are subject to booth reviews, just as all scoring plays are.

Here’s a rundown on what passed and didn’t:


  1. Proposal to make all replays handled in the booth, similar to the college system. REJECTED
  2. Horse-collar rule would apply to quarterbacks in the pocket. REJECTED
  3. Postseason overtimes rules will apply to the regular season. ADOPTED
  4. Adds loss of down to penalty for illegally kicking a loose ball. ADOPTED
  5. Makes too many men in the formation a dead ball foul. ADOPTED
  6. Makes recipient of a “crackback” block – defined as a player more than 2 yards laterally outside a tackle who clips or blocks before the waist -- a defenseless player. It adds the illegal head/neck shot protection that defenseless players have. ADOPTED
  7. The replay booth official will initiate reviews of turnovers. ADOPTED

A Patriots related note on the “crackback” block: Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee said Tuesday that the wham block, which the Patriots use a ton with tight end Rob Gronkowski, would not be affected. Mike Pereira, the former NFL vice president of officiating turned Fox analyst, told me the wham block is affected because the “whammer” is usually lined up 2 yards outside the tackle. Gronkowski will just need to be careful to make his blocks hit the defender from the waist to the neck.


  1. Modified roster rules for teams that play on Christmas and Thansgiving. ADOPTED
  2. Moved trading deadline to the Tuesday after the eighth weekend. TABLED
  3. Expanding training camp rosters to 90 players. TABLED
  4. Eliminates first preseason cutdown if roster limit remains at 80. TABLED
  5. For only this season, allows the teams playing the kickoff game to begin practice on Saturday. ADOPTED
  6. Allow teams to designate one player on injured reserve as a possible roster addition later on in the season. TABLED
  7. Allowing one roster exemption per week for a player that is inactive because of a concussion. TABLED

NOTE: Many of the bylaw proposals could pass at the May league meeting once the NFLPA gives its recommendations.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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