2016 NFL Rule Changes

NFC West Official Fan Reporter
Key Contributor

By Pattie Cabrido @pkc808

Every new NFL season comes with new rules and the 2016 season is no different.  In total, this new year comes with nine new rules.  Here’s a run down to keep you going before kickoff.

  • A team will receive a 5-yard Delay-of-Game penalty if they are erroneously granted a time out. A time out is considered erroneous if it is granted for a second time during the same dead ball period, or after exhausting all three of a team’s time outs in a half.
  • Offensive and defensive play callers can use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they’re in the coach’s booth or on the field. The previous rule only allowed this type of communication if the coach was on the field.
  • The 5-yard penalty, for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, has been replaced with a loss of down.
  • The line of scrimmage for the extra point (or Try) kick is moved to the defensive team’s 15 yard line, instead of the 10 yard line.
  • All chop blocks are illegal.
  • The horse collar rule is expanded to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.
  • Multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul, after a change of possession, is eliminated.

In addition to the above permanent rules, the following rules have been implemented for a one year trial:

  • The spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick is moved to the 25 yard line.
  • A player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls is disqualified from that game. Eligible offenses include: throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even if no contact is made; using abusive, threatening, or insulting language, or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the league; or using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.

The entire 88-page, 2016 NFL rulebook.

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