NFL passes two-strike automatic ejection rule for the 2016 season

Days before Super Bowl 50, commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that players committing two personal fouls in a game be subject to automatic ejection.  And now it has become a reality.

The NFL Competition Committee has adopted the rule change for the 2016 season. Specifically, a "player penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls" will be "disqualified."

The rule will be reevaluated next offseason.

Of course, all personal fouls aren't created equally. For example, in the first half of the Super Bowl, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was flagged for two personal fouls, including a blatant facemask.

Were the infractions enough to kick him out of the game? No, of course not. But Goodell wants to guard against what happened during the regular season when Odell Beckham Jr. lost his mind when facing Josh Norman.

Neither player was ejected -- though everyone agrees Beckham should have been tossed. Days later, the NFL suspended Beckham for one game.

So what's egregious enough to get a player ejected? According to's Ian Rapoport, fewer than five penalties make the list. And ProFootballTalk reported last week that two categories are being considered.

The first category would consist of verbal abuse, taunting, and throwing a punch or a kick. The second category would be broader, with hits on defenseless players, impermissible use of the helmet, crown-of-helmet violations, roughing the passer, late hits, striking, kneeing, and kicking.

"I believe that the league should pursue a policy where if there are two personal fouls in a game, there's an automatic ejection of the player," Goodell said in his original remarks on Feb. 5. "I believe that's consistent with what we believe are the safety issues, but I also believe it's consistent with what we believe are the standards of sportsmanship that we've emphasized. We should take that out of the hands of the officials when it gets to that point. They'll obviously have to throw the flag, but when they do, we'll look to see if we can reach an agreement on the conditions of which they'd be ejected. ...

"We'll discuss it further with the player's association in February at the combine, as well as the membership in March. But I've recommended already to the competition committee to at least consider."

And discuss it they did. And now it's a rule for the 2016 season.

New rule or not, Odell Beckham Jr. should have been ejected vs. the Panthers. (USATSI)
New rule or not, Odell Beckham Jr. should have been ejected vs. the Panthers. (USATSI)

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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