Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Kickoffs will be moved to 35-yard line

Rich McKay

Rich McKay, co-chairman of the NFL competition committee, speaks to reporters about proposed rule changes at the NFL owners meetings, Monday, March 21, 2011, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


The Competition Committee’s proposal to adjust kickoff rules, which seemingly came out of nowhere last week and was roundly criticized by coaches, wound up being approved in modified form on Tuesday.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that kickoffs will be moved from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line next season. Touchbacks will continue to be returned to the 20-yard line.

This appears to be the modified proposal that we reported on this morning. In that proposal, the two-man wedge would still be allowed. The competition committee initially wanted to eliminate the wedge and have touchbacks returned to the 25-yard line.

This rule change will still have a big impact on Sundays. There will be far more touchbacks and possibly less need for kickoff specialists. (Then again, you could argue that a specialist that could guarantee a touchback almost every time would be even more valuable.)

We find the rule change a little odd because it came out of nowhere and the league didn’t present a lot of evidence that it will help player safety.

UPDATE: Tw0-man wedges will be allowed.