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NFL owners change rules, eliminate ‘leapers’ trying to block field goals or extra points

PHOENIX (AP) — NFL owners on Tuesday approved having referees use a hand-held tablet for video replay reviews, eliminating “going under the hood,” and also centralized final decisions on such calls.

Previously, the referee would go to a sideline camera for reviews, and he would have final say on keeping or reversal a call. Now, league officiating chief Dean Blandino and his staff in New York will make those decisions with input from the referee.

Also Tuesday, owners extended bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line for another year, and eliminating “leapers” trying to block field goals or extra points.

Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks blocks Graham Gano #9 of the Carolina Panthers but gets called for roughing the kicker in the second quarter during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks blocks Graham Gano #9 of the Carolina Panthers but gets called for roughing the kicker in the second quarter during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The NFL owners also added protections for defenseless receivers running their routes, too.