It has been over a year since the New England Patriots deployed a confusing ineligible receiver strategy, and the Baltimore Ravens still don’t seem to be over it.
The Ravens have proposed an NFL rule change that would force receivers declared ineligible to wear vests appropriate for their positions, the NFL announced Thursday.
The Patriots lined up running back Shane Vereen in the slot but declared him ineligible during two plays in the 2014 AFC divisional-round playoff game, which New England won 35-31. The new rule would have forced Vereen to wear a vest with an offensive lineman’s number.
Here is the full language of the new rule.
2016 PLAYING RULE PROPOSAL NO. 6
Amend Rule 5, Section 3, Articles 1 and 2 (Changes in Position, pg. 19) (new language underlined, deleted language struck through):
SECTION 3 CHANGES IN POSITION
ARTICLE 1. REPORTING CHANGE OF POSITION. An offensive player wearing the number of an ineligible pass receiver (50–79 and 90–99) is permitted to line up in the position of an eligible pass receiver (1–49 and 80–89), and an offensive player wearing the number of an eligible pass receiver is permitted to line up in the position of an ineligible pass receiver, provided that he
immediately reports the change in his eligibility status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team wears a jersey vest matching the team uniform, with an appropriate number for his eligible or ineligible status that has not already been assigned to another teammate. He must participate in such eligible or ineligible position as long as he is continuously in the game, but prior to each play he must again report his status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team. The game clock shall not be stopped, and the ball shall not be put in play until the Referee takes his normal position. The requirement to wear jersey vests that are appropriate for a player’s position does not apply to a scrimmage kick or Try kick, but any player wearing the number of an ineligible player who is lining up in the position of an eligible player must immediately report the change in his eligibility status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team.
Alternate numbers for players must be provided to the Referee and a representative of the opponent at the pregame meeting that is conducted 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Note: An offensive player wearing the number of an eligible pass receiver who reports as ineligible must line up within the normal five-player core formed by ineligible players. The player cannot be more than two players removed from the middle player of a sevenplayer line.
ARTICLE 2. RETURNING TO ORIGINAL POSITION. A player who has reported a change in his eligibility status to the Referee is permitted to return to a position indicated by the eligibility status of his number after:
(a) a team time out;
(b) the end of a quarter;
(c) the two-minute warning;
(d) a foul;
(e) a replay challenge;
(f) a touchdown;
(g) a completed kick from scrimmage;
(h) a change of possession; or
(i) if the player has been withdrawn for one legal snap. A player withdrawn for one legal snap may re-enter at a position indicated by the eligibility status of his number, unless he again reports to the Referee that he is assuming a position other than that designated by the eligibility status of his number.
Penalty: If a player fails to notify the Referee of a change in his status
when required on scrimmage kicks and Try kicks: or an offensive player with an eligible number reports as ineligible and lines up outside the tackle box: Loss of five yards for illegal substitution.
The elimination of Rule 5, Section 3, Article 2 will cause the subsequent items to be renumbered.
Submitted by Baltimore
Effect: Requires players to wears jersey vests with numbers appropriate for their positions.
Reason: Simplifies procedure when players are changing offensive positions.
The Patriots didn’t submit any rule change proposals this season. Here are all 19 proposals.
1. By Competition Committee; Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team’s 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.
2. By Competition Committee; Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whetherthey are on the field or in the coaches’ booth.
3. By Competition Committee; Makes all chop blocks illegal.
4. By Competition Committee; Disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.
5. By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.
6. By Baltimore; to amend Rule 5, Sections 3, Articles 1 and 2 (Changes in Position) to require players to wear jersey vests with numbers appropriate for their positions.
7. By Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Articles 1, 4, and 5 (Instant Replay) to provide each team with three challenges and expand reviewable plays.
8. By Buffalo; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Articles 1, 4, and 5 (Instant Replay) to permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision except scoring plays and turnovers.
9. By Carolina; to amend Rule 8, Section 2, Article 1 (Intentional Grounding) to expand the definition of intentional grounding.
10. By Kansas City; to amend Rule 14, Section 2, Article 1 (Half-distance Penalty) to add penalty yards to the distance needed to gain a First Down.
11. By Kansas City; to amend Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2 (Legal Forward Pass) to prohibit quarterbacks from falling to the ground, getting up, and throwing a forward pass.
12. By Minnesota; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 1 (Coaches’ Challenge) to eliminate the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two Instant Replay challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.
13. By Washington; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, Articles 1, 4, 6 and 7 (Overtime procedures) to eliminate overtime periods in preseason games.
14. By Washington; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 4 (Reviewable Plays) to subject personal foul penalties to Instant Replay review.
15. By Washington; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 1 (Coaches’ Challenge) to eliminate the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two Instant Replay challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.
16. By Competition Committee; Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.
17. By Competition Committee; Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.
18. By Competition Committee; Eliminates the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.
19. By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh discusses with the referees during the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports