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Chop blocks are now outlawed, and other NFL rules changes


The NFL approved a number of rules changes at its annual meetings in Florida on Tuesday. The highlights:

- All forms of chop blocks are now outlawed. (Confession time: I didn't know there was such a things as a legal chop block before now.)

- The definition of illegal horse collar tackles was expanded to when a "defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground."

- The extra-point rule, requiring teams to kick from the opponents' 15 but go for two from the 3-yard line, was made permanent.

- Offensive and defensive play-callers will now be allowed to use coach-to-player communication tools from the coaches' box.

- A delay of game penalty will now be called for teams who call a timeout when they don't have one.

- Teams will now lose a down when an eligible receiver illegally touches a forward pass after going out of bounds.