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New NFL rule: Two personal fouls in one game will result in ejection

New York Giants' Odell Beckham (13) and Carolina's Josh Norman combined for five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties when the two teams played on Dec. 20.

New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (13) and Carolina’s Josh Norman combined for five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties when the two teams played on Dec. 20.

(Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)

In the NFL, it’s now two strikes and you’re out.

League owners concluded their annual meetings by approving a rule that says two unsportsmanlike conduct calls by a player in the same game will lead to that player being ejected. The rule will be in place for the 2016 season on an experimental basis.

There were 75 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties last season, a significant uptick from the previous five seasons in which there were an average of about 50 a year.

Goodell said the rules change will underscore the league’s commitment to sportsmanship.

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“We’ve had points of emphasis in the past,” he said. “They needed teeth. The opportunity for rules to reflect the emphasis everyone in the membership feels is important.”

In an effort to encourage touchbacks in the name of safety, owners also voted to move the line of scrimmage touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25. The move will result in fewer kickoff returns. That, too, is on a one-year trial basis.

Twitter: @LATimesfarmer


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