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NFL passes five player safety rules

Titans Texans Football

A penalty flag during the second quarter of an NFL Football game between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)


The NFL continues to add rules designed to make the game safer.

At today’s league meeting, the owners approved five rules proposals, all of which had been suggested to make the game safer. The five new rules are:

1. Bans defensive players from pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage when the offense is in punt formation. (This rule already exists for situations when the offense is in field goal or extra point formation.)

2. Prohibits all offensive players from engaging in peel back blocks.

3. Gives receivers defenseless player protection when a pass is intercepted.

4. Makes it illegal for a running back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the tackle box.

5. Allows an injury spotter to stop the game if a player appears to have suffered a brain injury.

None of those rules will make a major difference to the game on the field. Fans might not even notice them. But if they make the game safer, approving them was an easy call.