NFL owners approve changes to kick-off and use of helmet

NFL owners have voted to bring in a change to the kick-off and “use of helmet” rule for the 2018 season.

Kick-offs will now be more like punts, with players on the kicking team unable to line-up more than one yard from the point of the kick.

The previous rule allowed players to have a running start before the kick, but the revamped version is designed to limit full-speed collisions.

When the ball reaches the end-zone, it will now immediately be called a touchback, meaning players will no longer have to touch the ball down.

On Tuesday, owners also approved changes to the “use of helmet” rule, which now means it is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.