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Running down a few proposed NFL rule changes up for voting this week

Owners are expected to vote on a few key proposals.

NFL: JAN 03 Seahawks at 49ers Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL is mulling a few significant rule changes with votes coming next week, and some of those changes will inevitably impact the Falcons.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league is going to be considering officiating changes, onside kick rule changes, and more. Let’s take a quick look at what’s ahead for the league.

No sky judge, but...

The NFL desperately needs to improve its officiating capabilities, so while the sky judge being ruled out is a bummer, the thought of making things more robust between the booth and officials on the field is welcome. What level of improvement we can and should expect from this remains to be seen, but NFL officiating is bad, has been bad, and even reviews are sometimes useless. I will always take a step in the right direction.

Onside kick changes

Younghoe Koo couldn’t have been in favor of the idea of a 4th and 15 alternative, and presumably the Falcons defense wasn’t in favor for different reasons. Thankfully, that proposal appears to be dead.

What might be moving forward is deeply intriguing. Currently per ProFootballTalk, 10 players are lined up in the setup zone 87% of the time and all 11 are lined up there 13% of the time, so a proposal to limit that number to no more than 9 would presumably make kicks harder to recover. That would make for more exciting onside kicks, and it might make Koo an even more valuable kicker than he already is. I’m intrigued.

Changing jersey numbers

This one’s worth watching simply because we could see some Falcons swapping numbers for the year ahead, and it sounds like it’s going to pass. Remember, Julio Jones wore #8 in college, so he and other receivers will probably be at least tempted to make the switch.