It’s no surprise the Ravens have proposed two rule changes regarding eligible-ineligible receivers. Twice, the Ravens have been burned on eligible-ineligible plays.
During a 2014 playoff game against the Patriots, the Ravens were burned when the Patriots lined up running back Shane Vereen in the slot on a pass play, but declared him ineligible. The play caught the Ravens’ defense by surprise and caused confusion. The Ravens still covered Vereen like he was an eligible receiver, even though he was not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage.
The Ravens were also burned last year in Arizona, when offensive lineman John Urschel entered the game and clearly declared himself as an eligible receiver to the referee. However, the referee was distracted and didn’t see Urschel’s signal. The Ravens were penalized on the next play, and the Ravens weren’t any less upset a few days later, when the NFL admitted the referee made a mistake.
Since the Patriots-Ravens playoff game, a rule change has been passed requiring ineligible receivers to line up inside the tackle box. But the Ravens have called for another rule change to be discussed at the upcoming owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. The Ravens’ proposal calls for players wearing ineligible receiver numbers (50-79 and 90-99) to “wear a jersey matching the team uniform, with an appropriate number for his eligible or ineligible status.”
It remains to be seen if the rule change will pass. But it’s clearly an issue the Ravens aren’t willing to drop.