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Proposed touchback change fails


The 19 proposed rule changes for 2016 included a plan to move the touchback on a free kick from the 20 to the 25. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the measure has failed to secure the requisite 24 votes to become a new rule.

As the source explained it, multiple teams feared that the rule would result not in fewer kick returns (as the Competition Committee envisioned) but more, with teams trying to put the ball in the field of play and make the tackle inside the 25.

Some believe that, if the NFL wants to reduce kickoff returns, the league should simply get rid of the kickoff altogether and put the ball at the 20.

For now, the kick return survives -- and a touchback will continue to result in the game being placed at the 20.