WASHINGTON — NFL overtime rules are among the leading rule changes to the league in 2017.
NFL team owners approved shortening overtime — in the preseason and regular season — from 15 to 10 minutes, the league announced on Tuesday.
The rule change comes amid complaints about the number of additional plays forced upon teams while playing a 15-minute overtime period, with special consideration given to teams playing their next games on short rest.
Team owners also banned players from leaping over the line of scrimmage to block kicks, and approved automatic ejections for egregious hits to the head.
Replays will also be centralized under the rule changes, with the league’s officiating command center in New York now being granted final say over replay reviews, similar to how Major League Baseball handles reviews.
The league has also eliminated one roster cut-down deadline, with teams no longer cutting rosters down from 90 to 75 players. Rather, there will only be one deadline to cut rosters down to 53 players.
Also, teams can now return two players from the Injured Reserve list, rather than one. The new rule allows for two players per season to be eligible to return to practice after they have been on IR for at least six weeks. They can return to games eight weeks after being placed on IR.