One of the most exciting plays of the Denver Broncos’ 2016 season came in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints. With 1:22 remaining in the game, New Orleans was threatening to take a one-point lead. All it had to do was nail an extra point.
But the PAT would never get near the uprights. As you might remember, Broncos rookie safety Justin Simmons jumped over the line of scrimmage in legal fashion and blocked the kick. Then the Broncos’ other rookie safety Will Parks scooped up the football and returned it 84 yards to put two points on the board for Denver.
The Broncos won the game 25-23. The sequence wound up being one of Denver’s highlights of the season. But it’s starting to look more and more likely that plays of this nature will soon be illegal.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the NFL competition committee is seeking to propose a ban on field goal and extra point leaps such as Simmons’. This comes after the NFL Players Association lobbied for the ban earlier this month.
“The jump-over rule on the field goal concerns me,” NFLPA president Eric Winston told Pro Football Talk. “I would say that there’s a chance for a big injury on that play. Just for the jumper getting his legs caught up and landing on his head and for the offensive linemen in between the ‘A’ and ‘B’ gaps … those are big injuries. Those aren’t sprained-ankle sort of injuries.”
The ban on field goal and PAT leaps are one of several significant rule changes owners will have to consider at this weekend’s meetings in Phoenix. Also up for debate is shortening the overtime period to 10 minutes and the implementation of full-time officials.
All 32 owners vote on each rule change, and 24 votes are required for each change to pass.
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