Guess what potential rule changes are earning the endorsement of San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh? Well, a lot of them, but there's one in particular that should shock nobody: the aptly named "NaVorro Bowman rule."
As reported by Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation, Harbaugh came out in support of the rule, which would make possession of a loose ball reviewable. It's known as the Bowman rule because Bowman recovered a ball that was loose -- a ball that, mind you, fell right out of the hands of the Seattle Seahawks players' hands and into Bowman's -- in the NFC Championship, but the referees gave the ball back to Seattle.
Bowman absolutely recovered the ball. There's not even any discussion as to whether or not he did, and I personally don't think it even fits the bill for what would usually quantify a loose ball. The play, in short, was an outrage.
To add ... injury to insult, Bowman sustained a significant knee injury that will likely have him missing time going into next season. It's remarkable that he held onto the ball when his knee did the things that we saw it do. Video of the play can be found at the link above -- it's just as gruesome as you remember.
Harbaugh said that he thinks the proposed rule is "a good one," and added that he thought it might get passed. After the game, Harbaugh called it a "loophole," which is a pretty accurate statement. I can't claim that the play changed the game and it caused the 49ers to lose, but I do know that it didn't help, that's for certain.
It's not shocking that they're considering this rule, and it's obvious Harbaugh would support it. Fortunately, there seems to be a lot of possibly good rules up for consideration this year. Apart from the fact that the league is basically trying to eliminate kickoffs altogether, they're looking into whether or not referees can consult with officials in New York for replays, and there's also potential rules allowing personal fouls to be reviewable.
Personally, I'm all for anything that adds more reviews. Referees seem to be getting worse and worse and the unsportsmanlike conduct/unnecessary roughness penalties are getting a bit ridiculous. I can't take it for much longer -- it's one of the few things that I believe could legitimately force me into not watching football as often as I do ... and it's my job.
That aside, this Bowman rule can only be good and is a good first step.