In late February, it was reported that the NFL Competition Committee would be reviewing the catch rule for ways to simplify the rule for the 2018 regular season, as well as, eliminating the “going to the ground” portion of the rule entirely.
We now have confirmation from NFL VP Troy Vincent via the Washington Post that this indeed the case.
“Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we’ll reverse that,” Vincent said Tuesday in a phone interview with the Washington Post. “Going to the ground, it looks like that’s going to be eliminated. And we’ll go back to the old replay standard of reverse the call on the field only when it’s indisputable.”
Fans and players alike are likely rejoicing at this news. Not only did they eliminate the going to the ground nonsense, but a football can shift slightly in a receivers hands and not cause an automatic incompletion. Additionally, the instant reply reviews must be clear and decisive for an overturn to occur.
Owners can enact the new rule if 24 out of the 32 owners vote yes. This feels like a rule change that might get unanimous support in that annual meeting this month.
The possible exception could be New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who saw the new rules early adoption in the Super Bowl in February, where two such calls helped the Philadelphia Eagles take them down for the title.
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