The NFL has approved three new rule changes for the 2020 season, though the proposed change to thewas not approved.
Instead, the owners voted to make permanent the expansion of the automatic replay review system to include touchdowns and/or turnovers negated by penalty; expand the defenseless player protection to kick and punt returners; and prevent the manipulation of the game clock with multiple dead-ball fouls. In addition, owners ratified a change to the injured reserve return designation, allowing teams to bring three players back from IR rather than two.
The exact wording of the rule changes that have been adopted is as follows:
The first two rule changes are self-explanatory. The third came about after Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots (who else) exploited a loophole in the previous version of the rules to run more time off the clock than usual, and then saw the Tennessee Titans. As our John Breech noted at the time:
Thanks to a loophole in the rulebook, if the clock is already running, it will continue to run after a penalty as long as there's more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter (timing rules undergo a slight change late in the fourth quarter with the clock stopping on all penalties once there's under five minutes left in the game).
The third adopted rule is designed to change that.