Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

On NFL's agenda: extra points and chop blocks

The NFL's powerful competition committee is recommending making permanent extra-point kicks from the 15-yard line, eliminating all chop blocks and ejecting a player for twice receiving certain unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game.

When NFL owners meet next week in Florida, they also will consider such proposals as moving the line of scrimmage up 5 yards to the 25 on kickoff touchbacks, allowing coaches and players to use video rather than just photos on sideline tablets, and expanding the penalties on horse-collar tackles to cover the nameplate on the uniform.

Among the rule proposals that teams will present Monday through Wednesday are several involving video review: allowing three coaches' challenges instead of two even when one challenge fails, expanding what can be challenged to include everything but turnovers and scores, and eliminating overtime in preseason games.

What won't be altered is what constitutes a catch, a subject that often infuriates players and fans.

After Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested during Super Bowl week that player ejections for two egregious fouls would be considered, the committee is suggesting that specific unsportsmanlike conduct penalties could lead to expulsions. Those are:

Throwing a punch or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.

Using abusive, threatening or insulting language, or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials or representatives of the league.

Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.

Officials don't need to judge the fouls as flagrant for an automatic disqualification. And it won't necessarily take two fouls for a player to be tossed.

"We do believe officials should be empowered and should not feel ejection is not an appropriate remedy when there is a flagrant foul," said committee co-chairman Rich McKay, president of the Falcons.

Around the NFL

Jets: Cornerback Darrelle Revis, a former Buc, underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. He'll wear a hard cast for the next two to three months and is expected to be fully healed by training camp in late July.

Broncos: Former Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung agreed to a five-year contract.

Cardinals: Former NFL rushing champion Chris Johnson visited the Dolphins, but agreed to terms on a one-year contract to stay with Arizona.

Patriots: Special-teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break from the NFL to attempt to earn a spot with the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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