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NFL VP Troy Vincent confirms expected changes to catch rule

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent confirmed to The Washington Post Tuesday that as expected, changes are expected to be in the offing to the league’s controversial and much-maligned catch rule.

Perhaps most significant is that Vincent revealed the elimination of the “going to the ground” component to the convoluted rule will be proposed to the NFL Competition Committee next week. Another issue up for review is how slight movement of the football in a player’s hands warrants a ruling of an incomplete catch. One of the more notorious rulings impacted by ruling as it currently stands is Dez Bryant’s infamous non-catch in 2015 playoff game.

“We worked backward,” Vincent said. “We looked at plays and said: Do you want that to be a catch? And then we applied that to the rule.

“Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we’ll reverse that. Going to the ground, it looks like that’s going to be eliminated. And we’ll go back to the old replay standard of reverse the call on the field only when it’s indisputable.”

The modifications to the catch rule could be approved as early as next Tuesday, The Post reports. If accepted, the changes would be presented to NFL owners at their annual meeting next week.

The expectation the league would make substantial changes to the catch rule were seemingly all but certain in light of how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell bemoaned its negative impact upon the game last month, saying in part the league ought to “start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start.”

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti later shared Goodell’s sentiments, calling the catch rule “stupid” while suggesting the league should “start over” with the “ridiculous” rule.