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Report: Onside Kick Alternative Proposal Gaining Support

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Support across the NFL is growing for a proposed rule change that would provide an alternative to the onside kick, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The alternative to the onside kick would instead give teams the opportunity to convert a fourth-and-15 from their own 25-yard line as a method of maintaining possession. Teams would only be allowed to choose this method twice per game.

The proposal for an onside kick substitute was submitted by the Philadelphia Eagles, one of four rule changes introduced by the franchise back in April. The Eagles have since withdrawn two of those proposals. One would have modified the blindside block rule, the other aimed to restore the overtime period to 15 minutes and minimize the impact of the coin toss.

According to Pelissero, teams would still have the option of attempting a traditional onside kick, but given their low conversion rate, the league has been exploring alternatives for quite some time. Similar versions of the rule change have been tested in the Pro Bowl and in the AAF.

The onside kick alternative is one of seven rule changes that clubs will vote on during the league’s second round of virtual meetings next week.

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