New England Patriots

The NFL’s never-ending quest to tweak and improve its supremely flawed catch rules took another step on Tuesday. It’s unclear whether that step is forward, backward, sideways, or some unforeseen direction. But it’s a step.

League owners have approved – by a unanimous 32-0 tally – to change the NFL’s catch rule for the 2018 season, as first reported by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The controversy surrounding the whole “Survive The Ground” provision in the previous rule has been removed from the game.

Now, the focus turns to “football moves”. Or, to be even more specific, the ability to make them. The new rules will presumably go into effect in 2018 as outlined by NFL senior VP of officiating Al Riveron:

The NFL may have sewn up one replay debate, but it’s potentially created another. Did he make a football move? Did he have the ability to make one? These are now the questions that officials will have to answer over the course of games.

The hope is that it somehow leads to fewer replays, or at least shorter ones. But it doesn’t sound promising. It’s probably for the best to mentally prepare for another season of tedious replays and incessant Twitter debates. Just with a different topic.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at