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Giants Now 8/13: 2020 NFL rule changes & points of emphasis

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NFL announces rule changes and points of emphasis

On Wednesday, the NFL Football Operations department announced the league's 2020 rule changes and points of emphasis, which include the following.

2020 NFL Rule Changes

Defenseless players on punts and kickoffs- The Competition Committee voted to expand the rule that protects a player in a defenseless position to include a kickoff or punt returner who is attempting to field a kick in the air, but who has not had time to clearly become a runner. If the player can avoid or ward off impending contact, he is no longer defenseless.

Game clock start after foul in fourth quarter- Beginning in the 2020 season, if the offense commits a foul after the ball is made ready for play and causes the clock to stop before a snap during the fourth quarter or overtime, the game clock will start on the snap. Previously, if the clock was stopped for a foul before the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the clock would start on the referee's signal.

Replay initiated by replay official- The Committee has made permanent that reviews of the following types of plays can only be initiated by the replay official, even if a foul on the play negates the ruling:

  • All try attempts
  • All scoring plays
  • All plays with an interception
  • All plays with a fumble or backward pass either recovered by an opponent or that goes out of bounds through the end zone.

Points of Emphasis

Use of Helmet- The Officiating Department will continue to emphasize the Use of Helmet rule, first adopted in 2018.

The officiating standards for the Use of Helmet rule are:

  • Lowering the head (not to include bracing for contact)
  • Initiating contact with the helmet to any part of an opponent. Contact does not have to be to an opponent's head or neck area — lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent's torso, hips, and lower body, is also a foul.
  • Making contact on an opponent (both offense and defense)

The Committee is in support of issuing warning letters for any Use of the Helmet fouls in the interior line.

View exclusive photos of the New York Giants from their 2020 Media Day.

Slayton: New offense 'harnessing' everyone's skills

The pace of training camp is about to pick up, and Darius Slayton is one of the fastest players on the team.

It's go time for the second-year wide receiver who has a chance to solidify himself on the NFL landscape.

"I think we just have a really good chance to be explosive," Slayton said. "I think we have a chance to be an explosive offense, a really efficient offense. I just look forward to playing this year."

On Wednesday, the Giants began Phase 2 of training camp, which meant the full 80-man squad was on the field together for the first time. Things will ramp up in the next 10 days, a period that will include the first padded practice and intrasquad scrimmages each Friday, starting Aug. 21.

There, Slayton will have the opportunity to play with the full arsenal of Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram, something they were unable to do consistently in 2019.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Slayton said. "I hope everybody can stay healthy this year and hopefully play a full 16 [games] together. I definitely think it will be really important to have all of us out there at the same time. I'm really excited."

Giants hold 1st full-squad practice; plans for intrasquad scrimmages

No outside observers were present to witness it, but the Giants experienced a training camp milestone today – their first full-squad practice, including players wearing helmets, under Joe Judge.

On Friday, the players will wear shells for the first time and the first full-pads practice is scheduled for Monday.

"We're now in Phase 2 activities with the entire 80-man squad on the field," Judge said in a post-practice Zoom call. "We were out there for a 90-minute window. Generally, what that is, we're split up offense and defense. We can't come together or do anything competitive against each other. But it's an opportunity to get on the field and work football drills full speed. Get the guys out there, start working on some timing within the execution of our individual fundamentals and scheme, and build them to Phase 3 activities, which are really coming up starting Friday with practice on the field."

In recent years, NFL training camps have become less grueling for the players compared to the twice-daily, full-pads practices once common throughout the league. Full contact in camp is increasingly rare or on some teams, non-existent.

But with no preseason games to help him evaluate players or prepare the players for the physical combat that awaits them, Judge is running a challenging camp reminiscent of past football summers.

"We're basically going to have an intrasquad scrimmage of some type every week of training camp," Judge said. "The first one will be on this next Friday coming up - not in two days, but next Friday (Aug. 21). Look, for everyone kind of familiar with football, that will look a whole lot like every high school and college scrimmage in America. Offense on one sideline, defense on the other. We'll create situations on the field and let them play live football all the way through.

"We have to get an opportunity to let our guys play at full speed. Let them go out there and experience the game and demonstrate they can operate when coaches aren't yelling in their ears and trying to make corrections. We just have to get them out there and let them play."

Photos: Full squad takes field for first time

View photos from Wednesday's start of Phase 2 of training camp, where the full roster was on the field together for the first time.

View photos from Wednesday's start of Phase 2 of training camp, where the full roster was on the field together for the first time.

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