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NFL Owners Considering Change to Pass Interference Rule

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NFL owners meeting Wednesday in Key Biscayne, Florida, will consider a proposal to refine the new rule that allows challenges involving pass interference, and also might announce locations to host upcoming drafts.

Owners voted in March to allow interference calls or non-calls to be challenged by coaches and reviewed via replay as a one-year experiment.

The tweak proposed this week would take the decision to review pass interference in the final two minutes of each half out of the hands of the officials.

Reviews in the final two minutes would require a coach’s challenge, too.

“The concern is how many stoppages will we end up within the last two minutes,” Atlanta Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay said Tuesday. “One thing we do not want to do is be a game that has multiple stops in the last two minutes.”

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Under the rule adopted in March, in the final two minutes only officials in the booth can stop the game for reviews involving pass interference, as is the case with other reviewable plays.

Owners are expected to vote on whether to let the NFL competition committee decide on changing the rule after it discusses the subject with the league’s coaches.

McKay, a member of the committee, said the group has conference calls with coaches scheduled for early June.

Owners will also consider a proposal to exempt Hail Mary passes so they’re not reviewable. That would require the league coming up with the definition of a Hail Mary.

Do you think pass interference should be reviewable?

“I actually don’t think it’s that hard,” McKay said. “It’s going to be from what yard line was it thrown, were there multiple receivers, how much time is left on the clock. But you want to get input from the coaches — what definition are you comfortable with?”

Future host sites for the draft will also be discussed.

The 2020 draft will be in Las Vegas, the new home of the Raiders.

It’s uncertain whether owners will act on a proposed rule change that would require each team to have one possession in overtime.

The change is being pushed by the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost last season’s AFC championship game without getting the ball in overtime because the New England Patriots won the toss, received the kickoff and scored a touchdown.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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