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Rules changes for OT, IR set for vote

The NFL's Competition Committee officially proposed several changes to the rules for 2012 Wednesday, including potential tweaks to the way teams use the injured reserve list and play overtime during the regular season.

The suggestions will face the full vote of ownership at league meetings in Florida next week. Twenty-four of the 32 teams must approve the changes for them to become rules.

The two big changes could come to injured players and long games. The league is contemplating changing the overtime rules during the regular season so they match the ones in the postseason. As it is now, teams tied after regulation in the regular season play one sudden-death period and the first team to score wins.

In the playoffs, if a team scores a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, it wins. But if it scores a field goal, the opposing team gets one possession to either retie the score or win it with a touchdown.

There also could be a change to the injured reserve rules, which currently eliminate a player from the active roster for the entire season. A new format would allow teams to designate players to be brought back to the active roster from injured reserve, allowing the player to rehabilitate without costing the team a precious spot on the 53-man roster.

Other possible changes that will be voted on include having play stop immediately when a team is flagged for having too many men on the field; having replays viewed by an official in the booth and not by the referee under a hood on the field; and having all turnovers automatically reviewed, just as all scoring plays were reviewed beginning with the 2011 season.

New York Sports