While the onside kick has been around football for decades, recent rule changes to the kickoff have made it practically useless in the NFL. Now, we might finally be seeing momentum build towards its elimination from the game.
NFL owners will hold a virtual meeting on May 28 to vote on a handful of proposed rule changes for the 2020 season. Among them, an alternative to the onside kick submitted by the Philadelphia Eagles. While the vote is still a week away, NFL Media’s Judy Batista reports there is now ‘growing support’ to approve the measure.
Under Philadelphia’s proposal, the kicking team would be given the ball at their 25-yard line. They would be given one chance to attempt a fourth-and-15, giving them an opportunity to keep the football if they convert. If they don’t the ball would go to the opposing team at the spot of the dead ball.
As part of the rule, NFL teams could only attempt it twice per game. The proposal came a year after it was found the success rate for onside kicks dropped from 21% in 2017 to 6% in 2018-’19, per NBC Sports.
The rest of the rule proposals submitted by NFL teams can be found here. The league has already eliminated reviewable pass interference after receiving overwhelming support to get rid of it from teams.