NFL owners approved a change to the league’s low block rule on Wednesday.
Originally proposed by the competition committee, the change will prohibit “blocking below the waist by offensive and defensive players on scrimmage downs when contact occurs beyond five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage and more than two yards outside of either offensive tackle.”
Such blocks had only been outlawed on changes of possession or kickoffs previously. These “chop blocks” will now only be permitted on plays from scrimmage.
An infraction involving an illegal block below the waist will now result in a 15-yard penalty.
The approved change arrives as the league continues its focus on player safety in an attempt to eliminate severe lower body injuries.