NFL approves ejection proposal for 1-year trial


By Barry Wilner - AP Pro Football Writer



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, talks as Atlanta Falcons President and co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee Rich McKay, right, looks on during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — NFL owners have approved as a one-year trial ejecting a player who draws two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties from specific categories.

Those categories include throwing a punch at or kicking an opponent; taunting; and using abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures.

“Sportsmanship is important to the membership,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday as the owners’ meetings concluded. “We all have standards. They have two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties before they’re ejected. The message from the membership, our clubs and the coaches is they’re going to be held to those high standards.”

Also approved Wednesday as a one-year trial was placing the ball at the 25-yard line after touchbacks on kickoffs instead of at the 20. The league is seeking ways to reduce injuries on kickoff returns, which it says statistically are the most dangerous plays in the game.

Most proposals on expanding video replay in officiating were dismissed. A suggestion by Baltimore that would simplify the language in replay rules to make clearer what is reviewable has been tabled.

Expanding the use of video on sideline tablets, which many expected to pass easily, also was tabled until the May meetings in Charlotte.

“There was really good discussion from the coaches and some concerns on the technology side and the ramifications of using video,” said Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee. “We will use the Microsoft Surface (tablets) with photos on the sideline and will continue to discuss this.”

In other changes, teams no longer will be required to designate the one player allowed to return from injured reserve as soon as he is placed on that list. Instead, they will have until the day before the player returns to practice during the season to designate him. That player must have sat out at least six weeks in the regular season.

Goodell said reports of substantial progress in talks with the players’ union about reducing his role in player discipline were inaccurate.

“We are not close to an agreement by any stretch of the imagination on making changes on that,” he said. “But we are open to it and keeping an open dialogue with the union.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_109384842-9dd0ad0fe2e741eb9334c246d772de27.jpgNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, talks as Atlanta Falcons President and co-chairman of the NFL’s competition committee Rich McKay, right, looks on during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_109384842-88cc6fd601e9463e8a31ff642b717d10.jpgNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, talks as Atlanta Falcons President and co-chairman of the NFL’s competition committee Rich McKay, right, looks on during a press conference at the NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

By Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

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