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The NFL approves a few new rules for the 2020 season

Three rules and one bylaw passed today.

NFL: NOV 28 Bears at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL announced that three new rules and one new bylaw passed today among the seven rules and three bylaws that were proposed. Here is the Approved 2020 Playing Rules Summary.

By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.

This one isn’t really new as it just makes last year’s changes to the replay system permanent.

By Competition Committee; expands defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.

The NFL has been looking for ways to make the game safer, so penalizing a tackler that doesn’t give a return man time to make a move before blowing him up could now draw a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Also, if the official rules the hit to be flagrant the player could be disqualified.

By Competition Committee; prevents teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is runnin​g.

Teams taking advantage of a loophole in the old rule allowed them to take a few penalties to run more time off the clock. The Patriots, who else, were the first to do this last year, but then the Titans did it to them in the playoffs.

And here’s the Approved 2020 Bylaws Summary.

By League Office; increases the number of players that may be designated for return from two to three. Incorporates interpretations applicable to bye weeks during the regular season and postseason.​​​

Teams now have a bit more flexibility with their injured reserve list, but whereas last season players had to miss eight weeks before being able to be activated from injured reserve, the new bylaw sets that limit at eight games. A regular season bye week no longer counts in the time frame, but a playoff bye week does count as a “game.”

The 4th-and-15 onside kick rule was tabled, and the two different proposals for a sky judge were withdrawn ahead of the meeting.