NFL considering major rule changes in 2023

For the upcoming season, the NFL is considering making significant changes to the game. For some time, the fans have made several accusations. Among these changes, the NFL might address the referee and defensive player ejection issues.

What change might come in the referee issue?

The NFL hasn’t appointed any full-time referees so far. The referees who are officiating every game come from other occupations. So, it was concluded that without full-time permanent referees, the officiating is degrading gradually. Throughout its history, the NFL, like any other sport, has seen some contentious or incorrect calls.

NFL referee
Referee Clay Martin makes a call during the first half of the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos at Bank of America Stadium. (credit:Getty)

In this context, Pro Football Talks’ Mike Florio shared some of his insight: “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the push for full-time officials is gaining some traction. That doesn’t mean it will happen, or that it will be as clear and clean as all officials immediately devoting full professional efforts to officiating. The league may allow (for example) the officials who currently moonlight to continue to do so, with new officials being required to take full-time jobs with no other professional responsibilities.”

Previously, the NFL tried a no-calls review by coaches during a play in the 2018 NFC Championship Game, but the idea was not viable enough to continue after only one season. That is why the NFL is considering implementing “Sky Judge,” which would allow an official in the booth to notify the on-field referee of any bad call or missed non-call.

NFL referee
Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys talks to the umpires during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (credit:Getty)

What changes may come regarding the defensive player issue?

The NFL is also exploring the idea of the calling issue regarding roughing the passer. The officials often delivered controversial calls or missed a non-call, which directly affected the game’s results. For this reason, there was a proposal discussed among the franchise owners: a) a review decision, which turned out to be a failure; b) automatic player ejection.

The ejection theory appears to be suitable for implementation on the field. According to NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, “There was also discussion about if a hit on a signal-caller or defenseless player should warrant an automatic ejection.” Vincent also opposed the idea of sky judge as he said, “I think chasing perfection is a dangerous place to go”

All these theories and ideas will be incorporated into the vote at the March meeting. Till then, we can speculate on the pros and cons of these potential implementations. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


Shahbaj Arefin

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Shahbaj Arefin is a professional Sports Content Writer at SportsZion. He mostly covers NBA, alongside NFL and MLB. His favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan. Arefin is also a football enthusiast. He is a die-hard supporter of Argentina and Chelsea FC, frequently posting on Facebook during the their matches.


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