NFL Rule Changes: Owners Vote To Eliminate Tuck Rule

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL owners have voted to do away with the tuck rule.

The NFL owners have decided to do away with the tuck rule during their annual league meetings, according to NFL.com. The tuck rule has been one of the most unpopular rule over the last few seasons and allowed quarterbacks to get away with a fumble if they were bringing the ball back into their bodies as they were being hit, retaining possession.

Now when a quarterback loses the ball as he's bringing it back towards his body when he's being hit, it will be ruled a fumble. As usual, if the quarterback loses the ball when his arm is in a forward motion, it will be ruled an incomplete pass.

While several teams benefitted from the tuck rule, the most famous case was in the playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots, now called the "Tuck Rule Game," in which Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was sacked and lost the ball, which was recovered by the Raiders. However, the tuck rule was used and the Patriots retained possession. They went on to win by a score of 16-13 and won Super Bowl XXXVI.

Other than doing away with the tuck rule, owners approved a rule that says running backs and wide receivers cannot lead with the crown of their helmets into a defender, peel-back blocks are illegal and teams cannot overload one side of a formation on field goals and extra point attempts.

According to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, the Bengals may have been the only team to vote against the new rule in which running backs and wide receivers cannot lead with their helmets.

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