Running games could be affected by chop-block rule change

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Monday, February 29, 2016

The NFL competition committee is considering a rule change that would eliminate the chop-block for the 2016 season, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

There were conversations about the change over the weekend at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, and they will continue leading up to the NFL owners meetings next month in Boca Raton, Florida.

A chop-block occurs when one offensive player blocks a defender low while that defender is being blocked above the waist by another offensive player. The move already was illegal in many instances, but offensive linemen were still permitted to do so on running plays if they were lined up next to each other to start the play.

Eliminating the block would be the latest in the way of player-safety recommendations and would have enormous ramifications on the running games of many teams around the league.

Seventeen chop-block penalties were called in 2015, up from 10 in 2014. Five teams were called for multiple chop-block penalties last season: the Lions, Texans, Bills, Dolphins and Browns.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.