Ahead of the 2023 season, the NFL held its annual competition committee meetings to review proposed rule changes.
This year, the meetings were held in Indianapolis and one rule subject to discussion was the ever-controversial roughing the passer call. Roughing the passer has drawn the ire of fans and coaches alike for its inconsistency and seemingly unnecessary ruling in some cases. Throughout the 2022 season, there were numerous instances where roughing the passer was called but upon further inspection, a no-call was the correct decision.
Because of the way the play was being officiated, the Los Angeles Rams proposed a rule change that would allow for roughing the passer calls to be reviewable. However, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the rule change was not approved by the competition committee:
The proposal to make roughing the passing reviewable was not approved, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 28, 2023
The news that the Rams’ proposal was denied shouldn’t be much of a surprise as there didn’t seem to be enough momentum or support for it prior to its submittal. Still, it was a worthwhile play to bring up considering how frustrated coaches, players and fans have been the past couple of seasons.
Like every rule, there are instances of it being called incorrectly both ways. Either the contact from the defender is illegal and warrants a call or the opposite where the defender does everything according to the book yet still gets flagged on the play. From a fans’ vantage point, it feels like pass rushers are being penalized more for routine tackles because of how they land on the quarterbacks.
For now, the league will have to live with the referees’ calls when it comes to roughing the passer though perhaps it’s an issue that can be brought up again in the future.
Aaron Donald underwent tightrope surgery and will be ready for offseason workouts
For the Rams, while their proposal on roughing the passer was denied they got good news as Aaron Donald appears healed from the high ankle sprain that forced him to sit the end of the 2022 campaign. Donald underwent tightrope surgery –the same procedure Cooper Kupp underwent for his own high ankle sprain– and is reportedly all set for offseason workouts.
It’s the first major injury of Donald’s career, though there’s little reason to expect his play to drop off. While the rest of the defense will feature several new faces, Donald will have some weeks where he single-handedly carries that side of the field.