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NFL Sends Chop Blocks to Chopping Block

The NFL announced that chop blocks are now illegal, one of seven proposed rule changes that were approved by NFL owners on Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida.

The proposed rule changes, which were announced last week by the league's Competition Committee, were voted on by a representative from each of the 32 NFL teams.

In addition to making chop blocks illegal, voters also agreed to permanently move the line of scrimmage for point after touchdown try kicks to the defensive team's 15-yard line, and allow the defense to return any missed try.

This rule was implemented for the 2015 season, and has become permanent. Kickers were successful on 94.2 percent of extra points (from the new distance of 33 yards) in 2015, down from 99.3 percent at a closer distance (20 yards) the year before.

Voters also passed a recommended rule change that permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches' booth.

The previous rule required play callers who chose to sit in the booth to communicate information to another coach on the sideline before it could be transmitted to the field.

Under the previous system, Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner communicated the play to quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, who then relayed the call to Teddy Bridgewater. Norv Turner will have the option of communicating directly with Bridgewater under the new system.

Other proposed rule changes that passed include:

— Expanding the horse collar tackle rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.

— Making it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.

— Eliminating the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds and making it a loss of down.

— Eliminating multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.

Others proposed rule changes will be under discussion on Wednesday, the final day of the Annual League Meeting.

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