The change, one the NFL instituted prior to last season, was approved by the
Playing Rules Oversight Panel and is intended to enhance player safety. The
panel also said the running start by players on the kicking team will be
limited to five yards.
Also, touchbacks on free kicks will be moved from the 20 to the 25-yard line,
an alteration aimed at encouraging more touchbacks.
Another new guideline involves a player who looses his helmet during a play.
The situation will be treated like an injury, with the individual leaving the
game for one play.
There are also new rules regarding blocking below the waist and blocking on
punt returns, while players will also be prohibited from leaping over blockers
in attempt to block a punt.