The NFL Annual Meeting took place March 26-29, and each team submitted their proposals for playing rules, bylaws and resolutions for the upcoming season. On March 27th, the NFL approved a combination of 17 changes. Here is everything to know about what did, and did not, get approved by the NFL this past Tuesday, and what will be the biggest NFL rule changes for the 2023 NFL season.
*Rules via NFL
2023 Approved Playing Rules
Rule Change: Players can wear zero (0) as a jersey number; kickers and punters can use any jersey number between 0-49 and 90-99.
Amended Rule: Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2. Rule change proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Rule Change: Referees will adjust play clock after an instant replay reversal the same way they would other game stoppages. Players will no longer have to signal for more time to the referees in such situations.
Amended Rule: Rule 4, Section 6, Article 3 and Section 7, Article 4. Rule change proposed by the Los Angeles Chargers.
Rule Change: Replay official will be allowed to review a close failed fourth-down attempt automatically. Teams will not have to challenge if it is a close play. It will help speed the game up since the replay official has jurisdiction to review automatically.
Amended Rule: Rule 15, Section 1, Article 2. Rule change proposed by the Houston Texans.
Rule Change: A launch is now if a player leaves one or both feet to make a tackle. A launch is already a personal foul (15-yard penalty).
The Competition Committee proposed to change the definition of a launch.
Rule Change: A player can be called for tripping, which results in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.
The Competition Committee proposed to make tripping a personal foul.
Rule Change: Teams will be penalized for handing the ball-off forward. Hand-offs will have to be behind the quarterback or equal to the quarterback.
The Competition Committee proposed making handing the football forward akin to an illegal forward pass.
Rule Change: Illegal punts, drop kicks, or place kicks will now result in the same penalty as an illegal forward pass.
The Competition Committee proposed that illegal punts, drop kicks, or place kicks will result in a loss of down at the spot of the foul akin to an illegal forward pass.
Rule Change: Offenses will not be allowed an untimed down because of an offensive penalty after time expires at half.
The Competition Committee proposed not allowing the offense to benefit with an extra play before halftime because of an offensive penalty.
Rule Change: The words, “butt, ram, spear,” will be removed from Article 8 and adds the same words into the penalty for “Impermissible Use of the Helmet.”
The Competition Committee proposed clarifying the use of a helmet against an opponent.
2023 Approved Bylaws
Rule Change: Players waived on the Friday and Saturday of the last week of the regular season will be allowed to be claimed on the following Monday.
The Competition Committee proposed allowing these players to be claimed on Monday so teams can add them to their rosters earlier in the week ahead of the playoffs, and thus eligible to play.
Rule Change: Strength of victory is the second tiebreaker for awarding contracts.
The Competition Committee proposed strength of victory as the second tiebreaker for awarding contracts versus the previous tiebreaker of conference record.
Rule Change: Postseason signings will account for standard elevations rule. Postseason rosters will freeze at 4 p.m. ET on the Wednesday following the last week of the regular season.
The Competition Committee proposed allowing the league and teams to better account for their postseason roster and to clarify a new time to finalize playoff rosters.
2023 Approved Resolutions
Rule Change: Regular season and postseason roster transaction deadlines will be the same. Saturday night postseason games will have a transaction deadline of 4 p.m. ET on that same Saturday.
The Competition Committee proposed allowing last-minute decisions teams make in the regular season to extend into the postseason.
Rule Change: Teams will need to provide greater clarity regarding a player’s availability for a game.
Proposed by the Los Angeles Chargers. No specific language, teams are just mandated to be clear about who is and who is not playing.
Rule Change: NFL Rosters will remain at 90 throughout the entire preseason and then have one day to trim the roster from 90 to 53.
Proposed by 25 NFL teams, it will establish one preseason roster reduction date and related procedures.
Failed 2023 Rule Changes
Failed Rule Change: To allow roughing the passer to be a reviewable call.
Proposed by the Los Angeles Rams, comes in response to multiple instances last season where roughing the passer penalties were called on quarterback hits or sacks that seemed like fairly ordinary tackles.
Failed Rule Change: To allow teams to go for it on fourth-and-20 following a score instead of an onside kick.
Proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles, comes in response to an all-time low rate of 4% of onside kicks being recovered.
Failed Rule Change: To revive the gameday roster spot rule that allowed teams to have an emergency passer who didn’t count towards the roster.
Proposed by the Detroit Lions, comes most likely in response to the San Francisco 49ers losing every quarterback on their roster in the NFC Championship game.
These consist of all of the 2023 NFL rule changes that could impact games this season. The NFL hopes that none of them lead to controversy.
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