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7 Things 49ers Fans Should Know about 2017 NFL Rule Changes

Each March at the annual NFL owner's meetings, proposed rule changes are ratified and made official. That is no different this year, as the league's 32 owners have voted on a number of alterations to the rulebook.

Here is what San Francisco 49ers fans should know about the changes that have been adopted for the 2017 season.


1. Feet on the Floor

The "leaper" on blocked field-goal attempts and PATs is now prohibited. In past seasons, defensive players could try and time the snap perfectly and jump over the offensive line in order to get a clear path at the kicker.

2. Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

A permanent rule is now in place that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

3. Safe Space

The competition committee passed a rule that gives a receiver running a route defenseless player protection.4. #Technology

The sideline replay monitor will be replaced with a hand-held device and will authorize designated members of the officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.

5. Closing a Loophole

It will now be an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when a team commits multiple fouls during the same down in an effort to manipulate the game clock. You'll recall that the 49ers implemented such strategy on two occasions last season.

Towards the end of the first half with the opponent in the red zone, San Francisco's defensive backs all committed holding penalties. The result was a mere five-yard infraction without any time added back on the clock. The move made it so opposing teams had to settle for field goals. Now, a similar play will result in a 15-yard penalty. 

Off-field Amendments

6. Doctor's Appointment

In addition to gameday changes, the NFL approved several bylaw proposals that will take effect immediately. The first is that there will no longer be a time limit for how long a team's medical staff can spend with a draft-eligible prospect at the club's facility. This has been ratified for one year only.

One More Thing...

7. On the Move

You may have heard (OK you've definitely heard) that in a 31-1 vote, NFL owners approved the move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. The Raiders still plan to play the next two seasons at the Oakland Coliseum. The team's plan in 2019 remains up in the air with the 2020 season set to be their first in Las Vegas.

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