NEW YORK — Like every year, the National Football League is tweaking a few rules in order to help out a number of aspects of the game.
This week, the NFL made three major changes to their rulebook at their meetings in Eagan, Minnesota, doing so on Monday and Tuesday.
As far as scheduling goes, the league is allowing flexing for a select number of Thursday Night Football games in the 2023 season. There are a number of stipulations for this move along with only a small window for it to happen.
- Thursday games can only be flexed from Week 13-17
- A four-week notice is required
- Only two Thursday night flexes are allowed in a season
- Teams can’t play two away Thursday night games in a season
According to multiple reports, including Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bears were one of eight NFL teams to vote against this change.
NFL teams can now have an emergency third quarterback without having to waste a spot on the gameday active roster.
This was a problem that was spotlighted in the NFC Championship Game in January when the 49ers were forced to play Brock Purdy with an elbow injury after backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion in the second half of the game.
San Francisco didn’t have a third quarterback on the roster to face the Eagles that afternoon.
Per the rule, the emergency third quarterback can only enter the game if the other two quarterbacks are injured. If one of those signal callers can return to the game, the third QB must leave the contest.
Now teams that are receiving a kickoff will be able to get the ball out at the 25-yard-line should they decide to call for a fair catch.
The receiver of the kick must be inside his own 25-yard-line to do so, and this rule has been approved for one year.
According to the NFL, this was done in the interest of player safety.