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NFL owners approve resolution to put the ball on the 25-yard line following a fair catch on a kickoff

Special teams coordinators around the NFL weren’t too happy about this change

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

NFL owners have approved a series of changes that will come into effect at the beginning of the 2023 season during this week’s spring meeting in Minneapolis. The “Brock Purdy” rule, allowing an emergency third quarterback to be on the roster, passed Monday, as did flexing for Thursday Night Football.

On Tuesday, the latest change came to special teams. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, NFL owners approved the resolution of putting the ball on the 25-yard line following a fair catch on a kickoff.

Pelissero said special teams coordinators unanimously opposed the change. Teams who invested into kickers and punters probably weren’t too happy when they saw this news.

This could be temporary, as it’s a one-year trial starting in 2023. Per Pro Football Focus, 2022 saw no regular-season fair catches on kickoffs, which will almost assuredly change this season.

Here’s the language the league used:

One of Jake Moody’s selling points were his big leg and how that could be a weapon on touchbacks. Now, it appears the best weapon coming from a kickoff would be to squib it down the middle.

NFL owners cited player safety for this rule change one day after approving the start of flex scheduling on Thursday night. The league continues to pick and choose when they pretend to care about player safety.