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Growing support for 4th-and-15 alternative to onside kicks

Mike Florio, Peter King and Chris Simms look at the changes the NFL made to the Rooney Rule and, more importantly, the one idea they tabled.

A proposed rule change that would introduce an alternative to the onside kick is reportedly gaining support around the league.

PFT has learned, via a league source, that support is growing from a proposal that would allow teams to try a 4th-and-15 play in lieu of an onside kick. Rule changes that bar players on the kicking team from taking a running start limited the effectiveness of onside kicks last season and that limited the chances for teams to come from behind late in games.

The Eagles proposed the change. Teams would line up from their own 25-yard-line and retain possession if they were able to convert for a first down. If they can’t convert, the opposing team would take over from the spot of the dead ball. Teams would be allow to use the option twice in a game and the traditional onside kick would remain an option.

NFL owners are expected to vote on the proposed change at a meeting later this month.