NFL Rumors: Rule Change Proposal to Challenge Penalties Has ‘Minimal Traction’

Julia StumbaughMarch 24, 2024

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: A detail view of the NFL shield logo painted on the field before the NFL Super Bowl LVIII football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

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The Indianapolis Colts’ proposal to allow challenges to all penalties called in the final two minutes of each half of NFL games “has minimal traction” among league owners, ESPN’s Stephen Holder reported.

Stephen Holder @HolderStephen

Word here at NFL owners meetings is the Colts’ proposal to allow reviews of all calls — including penalties — in the final 2 mins of halves has stalled and has minimal traction.

Of note: The origin of the idea stems from an Oct. loss to Cleveland when a PI call decided the game.

ESPN’s Field Yates previously reported the Colts’ proposal, which would allow a coach or replay official to challenge fouls called in late minutes.

The idea originated from the pair of late penalties that contributed to the Colts’ 39-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 22, Holder noted.

Following that loss, Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on X that the NFL should “institute instant replay for all calls, including penalties, in the last two minutes of all games.”

The 32 team owners will vote on proposed rule changes during the Annual League Meeting, which takes place Sunday through Wednesday in Orlando, Florida.

For a proposal to be approved, 24 owners must vote in favor.

That seems unlikely for the Colts’ proposed change after the suggestion “stalled,” Holder reported.

This means teams will be unable to challenge fouls like the pass interference called on the Colts on Oct. 22, which handed the Browns the ball on the Indianapolis one-yard line with 33 seconds remaining in the game.

Irsay wrote that the NFL later told him the officials “did not make the correct calls” at the end of the game.

The NFL has turned down several proposals to institute foul reviews in the past.

Following a controversial missed pass interference call in the 2019 NFC Championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, owners voted to allow coaches to challenge pass interference calls and non-calls on a one-season trial basis during the 2019 season.

The NFL showed reluctance to overturn calls during these reviews, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported, and the rule did not return for the 2020 season.

Last offseason, the owners voted down a proposal by the Rams to make the roughing the passer calls reviewable.

In addition to the Colts’ challenge review rule, the owners will review nine other proposals by the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Competition Committee, including a committee proposal to prohibit “hip-drop tackles.”

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