NFL Looking At Potential Rule Changes For 2012 Season

There's not a lot of Vikings' news going on here at the moment, but there are some potential changes on the horizon for the 2012 National Football League season. The competition committee proposed rule changes during a conference call on Wednesday, and the folks over at Access Vikings have spotlighted a few of them. After the jump, I'll take a look at the ones they've spotlighted, and I'll give my take on them as well.

One of the more obvious ones, in my opinion, is the implementation of post-season overtime rules for regular season games. It's always been a bit non-sensical to me that the overtime rules should be different just because the calendar changes to January, and I don't even know why the league didn't just do it this way from the beginning. This one should pass, I think.

Another one that I'm pretty strongly in favor of is all turnovers getting reviewed without the need for a challenge flag, just like the league now does for scoring plays. Turnovers are huge momentum changers in the NFL, just like scoring plays are, and they should be put on the same level. If a player fumbles when he was clearly down or a defender traps a ball on an interception, it shouldn't cost a team a challenge in order to get the call right.

Speaking of instant replay, another proposal is that all of the reviews would now be handled by an official in the booth rather than the officials on the field. Again, a good idea, not only because it would probably speed things up (as Access Vikings points out), but the guy in the booth would probably have a better look at the various replays than a guy on the field would.

A couple of player injury/player safety issues are on the table as well, with the first being a change that would say a player on injured reserve would not necessarily be done for the entire season. From the way Access Vikings makes this one sound, I can't tell the difference between the way this is proposed and putting a player on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list coming out of training camp, like the Vikings did with Sidney Rice prior to 2010. The rule would give the player in question six weeks to be able to start practicing with the team, and eight weeks to get into game action, after which time (I assume) they would have to be moved to the injured reserve list anyway. If the league is going to emphasize player safety, I'm not sure why they would enact something like this that would give teams an excuse to push players into action before they might be fully ready.

The other one would give teams a roster exemption for a player with a concussion. A team would have to declare that player "out" by 4 PM Eastern on Friday as an "early inactive." The team would then get a roster exemption for that particular player. Concussions are a big deal in the NFL now, and if this keeps teams from rushing a player with concussion symptoms back onto the field, it seems like a good idea to me.

The competition committee also proposed that the trade deadline be moved back from Week 6 to Week 8. . .and, really, who cares? The NFL isn't like Major League Baseball or the NBA where player-for-player trades during the season happen on a frequent basis. I'm not sure this would really affect anything.

So, what do you think of these proposed NFL rule changes?

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