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Conducting experiments: NFL passes two rules for 2016

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Conducting experiments: NFL passes two rules for 2016

The NFL approved two rule changes that will be in effect for 2016 on an experimental basis.

One is the automatic ejection of players who commit two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. This encompasses such things as fighting or using abusive language towards another player. This would be the equivalent of a “yellow card” in soccer.

According to research, this rule only would have come into effect twice during the 2015 season so it is likely to have minimal impact.

The experimental change that will effect what happens on the field is the placement of the football at the 25-yard line after a touchback on a kickoff. The thought process here is to further reduce the number of kickoff returns. The change will move up the “break even” point for bringing a kickoff out of the end zone by five yards, encouraging returners to take a knee more often.

It’s also a little bit of an advantage for the offense, as they will have better field position after a touchback.

The NFL has said that the kickoff is the most dangerous play in the game in terms of injuries and this is another step towards what many believe will be the elimination of the play.

However, some have theorized that the change might actually increase kickoff returns. With the touchback essentially being penalized five yards, more teams might try to hang some kickoffs up and drop them inside the five yard line, giving their coverage a chance to stop the returner short of the 25. Perhaps this is why the rule is experimental, so they can take a year to see what the effects are.

RELATED: Gruden: Safety a position of 'great concern' for Redskins

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The Kerrigans are having a baby and, WOW, this is all so very exciting

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@kerrigan91

The Kerrigans are having a baby and, WOW, this is all so very exciting

The Kerrigan family is about to make a big-time addition to its roster.

Ryan and his wife, Jessica, already have two very, VERY, very, very cute bulldogs in their household. 

But on Tuesday, the two announced in separate Instagram posts that Jessica is 18 weeks pregnant and that a third human Kerrigan will arrive in 2019.

"Can I eat dis sign aftur da picturr iz over?" George the bulldog said when reached for comment on the news.

"How did dey gett such a smawl jerzey for da baby alreddy?" Franklin the other bulldog added.

This is all very wonderful.

Come next March, the world is about to get a little precious-er.

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Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

When you don't hear from someone you wanted to hear from, you typically follow up.

But on Sunday during the Redskins' 23-17 win over the Panthers, Jay Gruden actually didn't follow up with Adrian Peterson about a plan the two first discussed leading up to kickoff.

Everyone associated with burgundy and gold should be OK with that, however, after seeing how things played out.

During his weekly, exclusive interview with JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast, Gruden explained how Peterson's injury situation almost prevented the running back from posting his crucial 17-carry, 97-yard stat line. 

"I talked to him before the game, had a sit-down with him," the head coach said. "I told him I was probably only gonna use him on short-yardage and goal line if that, you know? Because I want him to heal, we have a long season ahead of us." 

Heading into Week 6, Peterson was dealing with shoulder, ankle and knee issues. Plus, he's 33 years old at a position where that number is way more common on a player's jersey than in his bio under "age."

So, Gruden's concern made some sense, especially considering how necessary a productive Peterson has been to the 'Skins' success in 2018. Problem is, the two never connected again, so the coach's pitch count was never executed.

"He says, 'Oh, just let me go early, I'll let you know how I'm doing,'" Gruden recalled. "We let him go early and I never heard from him so I just kept him in there. He played great. He's a pro, he's a stud."

For those of you now wondering if this means you should start ignoring emails from your boss or not text your buddy back and still expect success, let's not get too carried away here. In this instance, a lack of communication worked for the future Hall of Famer, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for you.

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