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League announces changes to kickoff spot

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By PFW staff

NFL owners voted to move up the spot of kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35, but touchbacks will remain at the 20-yard line and two-man blocking wedges will be allowed.

The league's competition committee proposed a change to kickoffs last week for safety reasons. They wanted kickoffs moved up to the 35, touchbacks on kickoffs moved to the 25 and wedges to be banned completely. That proposal received negative feedback from several teams that had talented kick returners (such as the Bears and Browns) and those with big-footed kickers who could reach the endzone on kickoffs from the 30 (such as the Ravens), leading to the current compromise.

League officials also announced that teams may not have blue or red fields, similar to what Boise State University plays on. Teams cannot change the color of their field without the consent of the league, and the turf must be a shade of green.

The way we see it

By reaching a compromise on the kickoff issues, it appears that most of the league agrees that kickoffs are a dangerous play and it is worth eliminating the excitement of kickoffs to ensure the safety of players. It will be interesting to monitor next season if the rate of touchbacks rises, as it is expected to do by moving the kickoff spot up five yards.

 

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