NFL rules roundup: All the new rules for the 2024 season

The NFL's team owners have made some big changes to the game this week, some of which will directly affect what we see on the screen every Sunday.

On Monday and Tuesday, the NFL announced a number of major rule changes aimed at increasing player safety, enhancing replay and creating more excitement in one phase of the game. The beginning of the game will look different in 2024 than it did in 2023, coaches will get one more chance per game to challenge an official's call, and a controversial tackle technique is being eliminated.

Here is everything you need to know about the changes coming to the NFL for the 2024 season.

Kickoffs are radically changing

After years of chipping away at the excitement of kickoffs, the NFL is trying something bold to reverse that trend. They are radically changing the kickoff to enhance that phase of the game while continuing to keep players safe, i.e. preventing them from running into each other at full sprint speed.

There are at least eight separate changes to the NFL kickoff rules, which are explained in great detail in this piece by Yahoo Sports' Jori Epstein.

In short, the new kickoff is essentially what the XFL has been running. This is what it will look like:

The hip-drop tackle is banned

The NFL has banned the swivel hip-drop tackle, which league competition committee executive vice president Jeff Miller said “results in about a 25 times rate of injury as a typical tackle.”

This is the language the NFL used to define the hip-drop tackle in the new rule:

It is a foul if the players uses the following technique to bring a runner to the ground:

(a) grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms; and
(b) unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner's leg(s) at or below the knee.

Yahoo Sports' Jori Epstein posted several examples of the swivel hip-drop tackle on X (formerly known as Twitter).

NFL trade deadline will be one week later

Instead of a Week 8 trade deadline, the date has been moved back to Week 9. The change was proposed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coaches get a third challenge

Coaches no longer have to win their first two challenges to get a third challenge. Now they only have to win one of their first two challenges to be awarded a third.

Enforcement of fouls on change-of-possession plays

During a play that results in a possession change, if fouls are committed by both teams, any major offensive fouls (like unnecessary roughness) that were committed before the possession change will now be enforced.

Changes to replay

These are the replay changes the owners approved this week:

Designated-to-return players during playoffs

Thanks to a rule change proposed by the Detroit Lions, teams now have an unlimited number of designated-to-return transactions during the playoffs.

Emergency quarterbacks

Emergency third quarterbacks, who are available to play in case the starter and the backup are ejected or injured, can now be elevated from both the 53-man roster and the practice squad. Last season, emergency QBs could only be elevated from the 53-man roster.