NFL Owners Meetings are in progress this week and it's expected that the league will announce any of the proposed rules changes on Wednesday at some point.
Per ProFootballTalk, the rules changes being discussed this week are the following:
1. Giving the authority to determine replay reviews to the replay official in the booth, not the referee on the field.
2. Modifying the horse-collar tackle rule to remove the exception for quarterbacks in the pocket, so that a quarterback in the pocket may not be yanked down by the back of his shoulder pads or inside collar of his jersey.
3. Changing overtime so that the postseason rule will be used in the regular season as well, and no regular-season games will be ended on a field goal on the first possession of overtime.
4. Adding a loss of down to the penalty for kicking a loose ball, as is the case in college football.
5. Adopting the college rule for too many men on the field, which is a dead-ball foul if a team lines up on offense for more than three seconds, or if a team on defense lines up with too many men and the snap is imminent. In those cases, the officials will blow the play dead and assess a five-yard penalty. This change wouldn't affect the rulings on players running off the field who don't get off in time.
6. Expanding the defenseless player rule to protect defensive players on crackback blocks, making it illegal to hit them in the head or neck area.
7. Automatically reviewing turnovers via instant replay, just as scoring plays are automatically reviewed.
The league is also considering altering or adding a few bylaws, which can be seen at that PFW article, and have to do with roster size and the injured reserve. Also, interestingly, the league may be looking to make a change to scheduling, particularly as it pertains to Thursday night games.
NFL owners considering rule that would prohibit road teams from more than 1 time zone away playing in Thursday night games.— Paul Domowitch (@pdomo) March 27, 2012
This rule comes on the heels of the 2011 season and may have been, at least partially, influenced by the Seahawks-Eagles Thursday night game in late November. The Eagles were a mess after traveling cross-country on two days of practice and came out very flat at CenturyLink Field while fighting through some major injuries to their starting lineup. No doubt the short week and travel schedule hampered their efforts for preparation and rest, something the NFL is apparently taking to heart.
It will be interesting to see what they decide. Stay with us today as we update this stream when the news hits.
For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.