NFL Rule Change: Open Challenge, No Kickoffs

A "challenge" rule that cost Detroit Lion's coach Jim Schwartz and his team a game recently, could go under review according to reports.

Last Thursday during a matchup between the Lions and the Houston Texans, Schwartz raised a challenge flag on the Texans, while the play was still active. The play led to a touchdown but in response to Scwartz's challenge flag, the Lions were hit with a 15-yard penalty, making it impossible for refs to review the play.

Because the play resulted in the team scoring, it was already subject to review. But since the Lions had incurred a foul before the score, it made review impossible due to the so-called "challenge rule" which states: "The Replay Official cannot initiate a review of any ruling against a team that commits a foul that delays the next snap."

But replays indeed revealed that Houston running back Justin Forsett, who was responsible for the 81-yard touchdown, was down by the 8th yard. The Lions lost the game to the Texans on a field goal during over time.

NFL officials are now considering a review of the rule. While it is unlikely that the change will take place mid-season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said, "We may evaluate it as it relates to the postseason," according to the Detroit Press.

It was initially reported by's Ian Rapoport that the change could take place sooner, but that is now unlikely.

In other rule changes, the league is also allegedly considering eliminating kick offs. The idea was suggested by Tampa Bay Buccaneer's head coach Greg Schiano, who suggested that instead, the "team would get the ball on its own 30 yard line," facing a fourth down with 15 yards to go situation, according to Fox news.