Owners' meeting wrap

At the recent NFL owners meetings, the votes to re-up instant replay reviews and rein in excessive celebrations made the biggest news. Other, smaller changes were made that will affect teams this season.<P>

On the field changes include allowing head coaches or any player to call a time out and made a punt or missed field goal untouched by the receiving team a dead ball once it touches the end zone or touches a kicking team player in the end zone. Free kick, personal foul and fair catch rules were also modified.

Minor modifications for players will be an increase of the practice squad from five to eight players. Also, wide receivers will be allowed to wear numbers 10 through 19 even when numbers in the 80s are vacant. Previously, 10-19 were available only when all 80s numbers are reserved either by active players or retired numbers.

Behind the scenes, modifications include an extension of the five day period after the season ends for interviewing assistant coaches. It will now be seven days, or until the conclusion of the wild-card round and will now also include high-level front office positions.

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