The NFL Annual Meeting is taking place in Phoenix, Ariz. this week and NFL owners have passed a pair of rules with regard to player safety, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal reported today.
Teams will not be allowed to have more than six players on either side of the long snapper at the line of scrimmage during the snap of a point-after-touchdown or field goal attempt. “Stacking” one side of the line was deemed to be unsafe. In addition, the rushing side can no longer hit an offensive lineman low on such plays, and players not on the line will no longer be allowed to push their own teammates into blockers. The long snapper will also be considered a defenseless player.
The alignment violation will be a 5-yard penalty and pushing a player into the line will be labeled unnecessary roughness and result in a 15-yard penalty.
The NFL also passed a rule banning the use of “peel-back” blocks anywhere on the field. “Peel-back” blocks, or when a player comes back toward their own goal line to make contact below the waist with an opponent from behind or from the side, were previously only illegal inside the tackle box (the area of the field between the offensive tackles on either side of the line).
A “peel-back” block will be penalized 15 yards.