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Defenseless Player Rules Expanded

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The owners met this morning and approved a group of rules related to the definition of a 'defenseless receiver', launching and hits to the head of a quarterback. Defenseless players now include all players "not clearly a runner yet", punters and kickers during a return and quarterbacks after a change of possessions. This means those players cannot be hit in the head or neck area. 

Launching was expanded to include hits where a player leaves his feet prior to contact, and then uses any part of his helmet to hit another player. Finally, whether grazing hits to a quarterback's head will be called as penalties will now be a judgment call. Previously those hits were automatic penalties.