Much is up in the air about the coming NFL season, and that now includes the venerable onside kick. League owners will vote later this month on a big rule change related to the kick that could result in more dramatic comeback attempts. Instead of an onside kick, teams could instead opt to try to convert a 4th-and-15 from their own 25-yard line, reports ProFootballTalk. If they succeed, they keep the ball. If they fail, the other team takes over at the spot of the dead ball. Teams would be allowed to choose the play twice during a game, and the regular onside kick would remain an option.
Owners usually reject such "dramatic" rule changes, notes CBS Sports, but it says this one has a legitimate chance because a similar version was cleared by a competition committee last year. The new rule, proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles, was then tweaked into its current form. Onside kicks rarely work. Usually, the kicker squibs the ball, and if his own team recovers it after 10 yards, it keeps possession. In 2019, it worked in 7 out of 56 attempts, or 12.5% of the time, per CBS. On the other hand, teams convert 4th-and-15 attempts at roughly twice that percentage. (Read more NFL stories.)