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New Rule Change to Stop Intentional Fouls Proposed

The NFL’s competition committee has proposed a rule change that appears aimed at eliminating a strategy used by the 49ers and Ravens last season to drain time from the game clock by committing multiple fouls on the same play, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reports.

The proposal, which will be debated and possibly voted on next week by NFL owners, prohibits teams for committing “multiple fouls during the same down in an attempt to manipulate the game clock.” The offending team would be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and the game clock would be reset, thwarting the intent of the strategy.

At the moment, NFL rules instruct referees to warn teams on the first instance of multiple players committing intentional fouls. On the second instance, referees can issue a penalty for a “palpably unfair act.” Any time lost is restored after that second instance, explaining why the 49ers and Ravens jumped at the opportunity last season.

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