The NFL will again look at an alternative to the onside kick at this year’s league meeting.
In a proposal put forward by the Eagles, the league will consider allowing teams that would otherwise kick off to instead line up at their own 25-yard line with a fourth-and-15 play. If the offense gains 15 yards or more, that team keeps the ball.
The rules changes restricting the kicking team from running starts on kickoffs have made kickoffs safer by reducing the high-speed impacts. But they’ve also made onside kicks incredibly hard to recover. Allowing an alternative to the onside kick is one way of making games more exciting, by giving a trailing team a better chance of coming back.
It’s unclear how much support the proposal will have. A fourth-and-15 alternative has been discussed for years but hasn’t gained much traction in the NFL in the past.