2016 NFL Rule Changes

Intro: What are some rules changes that fans should look for with the regular season starting this week?

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Chop block:* *All chop blocks are now illegal. A chop block is a two-man high-low block in which a defensive player is engaged above the waist by one offensive player and blocked at the thigh or below by a second offensive player. A chop block is a foul whether it occurs on a running play, a pass play or a kicking play. If it is clear that the defensive player is initiating the contact above the waist, or that the offensive player is trying to slip or escape, then the block is legal.

Unsportsmanlike conduct: A player that is penalized twice in the same game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls will be automatically disqualified. These types of fouls include:

◦                     Throwing a punch or kick without making contact

◦                     Use of abusive or threatening language toward an opponent

◦                     Any act that constitutes taunting

Horse collar:* *The horse collar rule has been expanded for this season. Prior to this change, it was illegal to grab the inside collar of the back or the side of the shoulder pad or jersey and pull the runner toward the ground. Now it will also be illegal to grab the back or side of the jersey at the name plate or above and pull the runner toward the ground. The runner does not have to be pulled all the way to the ground. If his knees are buckled by the action, it is a foul. This rule does not apply to the quarterback in the pocket or a runner in the tackle box, but once the runner leaves the tackle box or the quarterback leaves the pocket the rule is back in effect.

Touchbacks:* *For the 2016 season, after a touchback resulting from a kickoff or safety kick, the ball will be placed at the receiving team's 25-yard line.

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