NFL expected to approve shorter overtime and another change to injured reserve

NFL owners will gather next week for a brief series of meetings, and at least two new rules changes are expected to be approved.

Via Judy Battista of NFL.com, owners will vote on a motion that had previously been tabled to shorten overtime periods from the current 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

The reason for the shorter OT proposal is unclear, but it is expected to receive the three-quarters approval vote needed. If social media is an indication, fans are not in favor of the change, believing it will lead to more tie games.

Jacksonville owner Shad Khan (L) and New England owner Robert Kraft will be at the May league meetings next week. (AP)

Coaches, however, are in favor. Battista spoke with several at the league meetings last month who said shorter overtime leads to less wear-and-tear on players, who may see a full period of play carry over to practices and the game that follows, and Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien said perhaps less time will lead to more aggressive play-calling.

There’s another rule tweak expected to pass, and it involves injured reserve.

Currently, teams may remove one player off injured reserve; if owners approve, teams can remove a second player off IR.

While that is a welcome rule, it seems the smarter thing should be moving to a system similar to baseball, which has a 10-day disabled list and a 60-day DL for more serious injuries. Why not allow teams to designate players on a four-game DL and eight-game DL and still keep the full-season injured reserve?

Change is often slow in the NFL, so maybe we’ll see broader changes someday.

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