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NFL votes to make all blindside blocks illegal

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: A referee picks up a penalty flag as the Miami Dolphins play against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 26, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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The NFL has made its first rules change, one NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent predicted last month would pass easily.

Owners voted Tuesday to make blindside blocks illegal.

Previous rules prohibited only blindside blocks to the head and neck area, but the NFL coaches’ subcommittee recommended the change to banish all blindside blocks. One-third of all concussions on punts were caused by blindside blocks, the NFL’s health and safety department found.

Now, any forcible contact by the blocker with his head, shoulder or forearm is prohibited.

Owners will have longer, more lively and more divisive discussions on expanding replay as the day progresses.