According to multiple reports, there will be seven new rule changes to the NFL rule book for the 2016 season.
Ben Volin's Tweet lists the changes and they are as follows:
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 whether they are on the field or in the coaches’ booth.
3. By Competition Committee; Makes all chop blocks illegal.
Now, a Chop Block is when one blocker (usually a lineman) is engaged with a defender and another blocker (could be a lineman next to him, or a running back from the backfield) comes and cut blocks him below the waist.
It is a dangerous play that does put the defensive player at risk of a serious knee injury. However, it is (or used to be) a valid blocking scheme that kept defensive linemen out of the backfield.
Now without this play, defensive linemen will be safer in the trenches.
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.
Now any time a receiver goes out of bounds and comes back in and is the first to touch the ball, it is a loss of possession instead of a five yard penalty.
19. By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.
One thing to note is that all of these rule changes came from the Competition Committee who looks to improve the game of football and none of the adopted changes came from the 10 Clubs who submitted changes.
The Patriots were not one of those teams who submitted changes to the Competition Committee, however.
The other nine rule changes all came from the Competition Committee and only seven of those were accepted into the rule book for the 2016 season.
One of the biggest changes is that Chop Block ruling which prohibits linemen to double team and cut an occupied defender thus leading to fewer injuries in the trenches.