NFL Releases Rule Changes; Gives Date for Schedule Release

By Adam Roberts – 4/21/2021

The NFL has unveiled its yearly changes that will be coming to the league for the 2021 season.

Among the new rules was a rejection for a full-time sky judge, while also expanding the influence of replay officials as more coaches are demanding game-day officials be subjected to more oversight. Per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, replay officials will be able to offer referees advice based on what they’ve seen on broadcast replays in matters of possession, completed or intercepted passes, ball location, and whether a player is down by contact.

Other changed include:

  • A relaxation of rules regarding what numbers a player wears. Single digit numbers are now available to running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, defensive backs, and linebackers.
  • A one-year experiment to try and change up the onside kick. The receiving team on kickoffs will only be allowed to have nine players within 25 yards of the bal.
  • Overtime in preseason games has been eliminated.
  • A loss of down is charged with two passes are completed behind the line of scrimmage

The NFL will also release its schedule for the upcoming season in just a few weeks. The league confirmed the schedule will come out on May 12th at 8 p.m. Eastern. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has previously said he’s expecting stadiums across the league to be full. Some teams did have fans in attendance last season, but the stadiums, such as Lambeau Field in the final few home games of the regular and postseason, were at reduced capacity.