NFL owners approve replay changes for officiating

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PHOENIX (AP) — NFL owners approved having referees use a hand-held tablet for video replay reviews, eliminating “going under the hood,” and also centralized final decisions on such calls.

Previously, the referee would go to a sideline camera for reviews, and he would have final say on keeping or reversal a call. Now, league officiating chief Dean Blandino and his staff in New York will make those decisions with input from the referee.

Also at the league meetings Tuesday, owners extended bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line for another year, and eliminating “leapers” trying to block field goals or extra points. They added protections for defenseless receivers running their routes, too.

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