NFL owners voted Tuesday to approve a proposal that would allow players to hold kickoffs on the scoreboard starting at the team’s 25-yard line.

of New law It states that a free kick (safety or punt) must occur behind the team’s 25 yard line for the ball to be placed on the 25.

The rule change will last only one year, and the league cited “player safety” as the reason for the proposal.

“The kickoff for us is a play that has changed a lot for us over the years,” Rich McKay told NFL Network’s Judy Bautista. “The stress level on the play is increased because the ball is being returned on punts inside the 5-yard line. And you know what, this is the right thing to do right now,” he said.

McKay and NFL executive Jeff Miller said Tuesday that modeling showed the kickoff return rate would drop from 38% to 31% and that the interception rate would decrease by 15% as a result of the proposed proposal.

“We had to do something,” McKay added. “We can’t sit there and ignore that data.”

McKay, who expects backlash from special teams coaches and other opponents of the change, explained why the league believes it is in its best interest to accept the move.

“It’s never easy for special teams coaches. They’ve been coached a certain way, they think they have an advantage, so they’re not going to be happy with changes like that,” McKay told Batista.

The rule, first proposed by the league’s competition committee at the annual league meeting in March, continues the NFL’s efforts to reduce injuries on special teams play.

The proposal was tabled for further discussion in March. Two months later, ownership voted at the Minneapolis Spring League meeting.

“In our minds, this is a law that needs to be passed,” McKay told reporters on Tuesday. “We had to go through a year, we had to consider what the data was and what the fate of the tournament was. So that’s not the way we went. It’s not that coaches and/or players don’t feel negative. I guess they do because change always means seeing things differently. You have to – and I understand that. But in our case, we’re driven by health and safety information and that’s what happens. Keep us informed as we develop regulations.”

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