REPORT: Two Proposed NFL Rule Changes Are “Likely To Pass Next Week,” Including The Sky Judge

Back in 2019, there was a moment during an Alliance of American Football game between the San Antonio Commanders and the Birmingham Iron where San Antonio defensive back Duke Thomas laid an unnecessary late hit on an opposing player.

The eight officials on the field missed the call, but an immediate review was conducted by an extra official known as a “Sky Judge,” and a flag was thrown that drew a 15-yard penalty for that hit.

With NFL officiating under more fire than ever following another season marred by blunders, there’s no good reason why the league shouldn’t adopt the same system. The Baltimore Ravens proposed the idea that a “sky judge” should be added to every NFL game to help assist the on-field officials.

On Friday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed that the competition committee has a proposal in place for expanded booth-to-official communication and it has strong support from coaches around the league.

The second rule that appears to have significant support is one that will allow different positions to wear certain jersey numbers, which has also gained “strong support” among teams.

Pelissero added that the proposal to allow teams to attempt a 4th-and-15 play instead of an onside kick is unlikely to be adopted.