The NFL may be making some major rule changes soon when it comes to kickoffs and punt returns. The league may be taking its cue from the XFL USFL and college football.
“What can we learn from the XFL, the USFL?” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “We look at college, the NCAA fair catch.”
The competition committee is looking to take on the college football kickoff rule, which puts the ball on the 25-yard line after a fair catch anywhere inside the 25. That results in more fair catches, fewer kickoff returners being tackled, and therefore fewer injuries.
But the new rule that the NFL is looking at that may raise eyebrows is the XFL kickoff rule. It includes 10 players on the kicking team and 10 players on the receiving team lining up just five yards apart, meaning that players don’t get running starts and run full-speed into each other.
The XFL says their rules cause fewer injuries as well. The NFL has made several rule changes over the years so they aren’t opposed to change.
They have made more rules to protect quarterbacks which has angered some defensive players. And they, of course, pushed the extra-point attempt back a few yards as well.