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NFL considers altering guidelines subsequent yr as extra groups go for it on fourth down

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Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a move throughout the first half in opposition to the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

With fourth downs at a excessive, the National Football League has extra of an incentive to change its gameplay guidelines subsequent yr.

The NFL held a convention name after a two-hour league assembly on Tuesday to supply an replace on its Covid-19 season. The NFL mentioned contingency plans surrounding video games “should it be needed,” however Commissioner Roger Goodell added the league stays “committed to completing the season as scheduled.”

The NFL additionally established standards for its playoff eligibility ought to groups not full the season taking part in the identical quantity of video games however tabled reseeding groups within the postseason beneath its new contingency decision.

Goodell additionally reiterated the league’s competitors committee would meet within the offseason to debate including the fourth-and-15 choice.

The added rule would enable groups to aim a primary down from their very own 25-yard line. Should the group fail, the opponent would acquire possession with the identical subject place. The choice can be an alternative choice to groups making an attempt an onside kick.

According to a Nov. four league memo obtained by CNBC, the NFL famous to its competitors committee that extra groups are going for it on fourth down and changing extra usually.

Through Week 8, NFL golf equipment have tried fourth-and-one 55.9% of the time this season, in contrast with a median of 42% from 2010 by 2019. And golf equipment have transformed 69% of the fourth downs, which the memo notes is up 7% over the identical interval in seasons from 2010 by 2019.

Also, by Week 8, there have been 200 fewer punts compared with the 2019 season. Goodell stated the NFL mentioned the metrics with golf equipment in October and goals to have the fourth-and-15 choice in place subsequent season.

“We think this is a rule that we should bring back to the committee in the offseason and consider in the spring [meetings] for the 2021 season,” Goodell stated on the decision. “It is something that we have thought, and many clubs have thought, would be an exciting addition to the game, and it’s something that I think merits further discussion.”

The Denver Broncos proposed the fourth-and-15 choice in 2019, and Philadelphia Eagles proprietor Jeffrey Lurie introduced the concept earlier this yr.

The memo additionally notes return charges on kickoffs, 34.6%, and punts, 40.5%, are down. Hence, the NFL plans to additional discover transferring the kickoff line to the 30-yard line from its present spot on the 35. The proposal was beforehand tabled for future consideration.

The solar rises over Raymond James Stadium because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the sector for an NFL soccer coaching camp observe Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O’Meara | AP

Not planning for a vaccine

The NFL launched its newest Covid-19 testing outcomes, which revealed 15 new confirmed optimistic assessments amongst gamers and 41 new confirmed positives amongst different group personnel. Since testing commenced on Aug. 1, the NFL reported 78 gamers and 140 different personnel have been confirmed optimistic circumstances.

Despite the Covid-19 circumstances on the rise all through the U.S., Goodell repeated the league plans to have followers at its Feb. 7 Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida. He did not specify what number of spectators can be allowed at Raymond James Stadium however famous the plan requires as many followers “that can be done safely.”

Asked if information surrounding a potential vaccine would affect the NFL’s Super Bowl plans concerning spectators, Goodell stated no.

“We are starting on the basis that we are planning for fans in Tampa,” he stated. “We are not doing it on the basis that there will be a vaccine.”

Pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and BioNTech introduced Monday that trial outcomes present their coronavirus vaccine is greater than 90% efficient in stopping Covid-19 amongst these with out proof of prior an infection. It nonetheless wants FDA approval.

Scientists are hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that’s a minimum of 75% efficient, whereas White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated one that’s 50% or 60% efficient can be acceptable.



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