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NFL announces new overtime rules for 2012


NFL owners voted Wednesday at the NFL Annual Meeting to change the regular-season overtime rules to match the playoff format and have turnovers automatically reviewed.

Each team will have an opportunity for a possession in overtime unless the team that receives the first kickoff scores a touchdown on its opening drive.

Teams will no longer need to challenge turnovers, as is the case with scoring plays.

Proposals that would have changed the injured reserve designation and pushed back the trade deadline were tabled, but NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported that many executives believe both changes will be approved at a later date.

Rich McKay, the co-chair of the competition committee, said some proposals would be revisited in May after their language was tweaked or they were reviewed by the NFL Players Association.

The owners did not pass a proposal by the Buffalo Bills to have all instant replays reviewed by the booth rather than by referees on the field.

Other rules changes: a team will lose a down for illegally kicking a loose ball; too many men on the field becomes a dead ball foul; and a player receiving a crackback block is now considered a defenseless player and will result in a 15-yard penalty.

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