PHOENIX – NFL owners approved two rule changes Tuesday to enhance player safety. They might not vote on a proposal to ban offensive players from using the crown of their helmets against defenders.
The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side, and makes contact below the waist.
The penalty will be 15 yards.
Also banned is overloading a formation while attempting to block a field goal or extra point. Defensive teams can now have only six or fewer players on each side of the snapper at the line of scrimmage.
The alignment violation is a 5-yard penalty. The pushing penalty is 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.
But the potential change that has drawn the most attention – yes, even more than eliminating the infamous tuck rule, which seems to be a foregone conclusion – is prohibiting ball carriers outside the tackle box from lowering their helmets and making contact with defenders with the crown.
New York Giants owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee that has recommended the change, expressed doubt Tuesday that the proposal would be voted on before today, when the owners meetings conclude.
Vikings sign Colts’ veteran lineman
The Minnesota signed Seth Olsen to add some depth to its offensive line.
Olsen was on the Vikings practice squad in 2010 and spent the past two seasons playing in Indianapolis.
Around the league
The New York Giants added Louis Murphy. Miami re-signed versatile offensive lineman Nate Garner. Dallas and Miami will meet in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 4 to open the NFLs preseason. Carolina signed cornerback D.J. Moore, who played in 13 games last season with Chicago. San Francisco signed kicker Phil Dawson to a one-year contract. Major League Baseball is looking into a solution to a scheduling issue that could prevent the Super Bowl champion Ravens from opening next season in Baltimore. The Orioles are set to play the White Sox on the Thursday night after Labor Day at Camden Yards, which uses the same parking lot as the adjacent Ravens stadium.