By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — If an NFL player makes an “egregious” hit to an opponent next year, he’s going to be sent to the showers early.

That’s the new law of the land in the NFL, as the owners voted on Tuesday to approve a rule change which results in automatic ejections for “egregious” hits to the head.

The rule is sure to cause controversy whenever it comes in to play, as certain hits to the head tend to get officiated differently than others. Like, for example, numerous hits to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Certainly, NFL referees and officials have not shown a mastery when it comes to enforcing the current rules in place regarding hits to the head. So the added stakes of an automatic ejection should not be considered something that will necessarily go smoothly during the regular season.

This rule, combined with the centralization of replay review, signals a significant change in the enforcement of rules in the NFL.

The owners also voted to ban the leap over the line on field goal block attempts. Patriots linebacker Shea McClellin executed this move to perfection in a game this season against the Ravens. He did it again in the Super Bowl, though he was called for a penalty — even though he did not commit an actual infraction.

And in news that will disappoint some fans, the proposal to make a kickoff through the uprights result in the ball being placed at the 20-yard line instead of the 25-yard line did not pas.

The rules were proposed by the competition committee — which is headed by Falcons president Rich McKay and includes John Mara, Stephen Jones, John Elway, Bruce Arians and Mike Tomlin, among others — and voted upon by owners.

Comments (10)
  1. Want to make a billion dollars? Start a football league with rules from the 1960’s NFL played in open air real grass fields.

  2. Rugby has strict rules against high tackles, you either get a 10 minute penalty(losing a player) or red carded (ejected) They don’t have nearly the amount of head injuries as American Football.

  3. Refs now have the tool to really determine the outcome of a game. Can’t get past Sherman, just have him ejected.

  4. About time. These thugs in uniform, if on the street, would be in jail for felonious assault.

  5. The player’s Mother’s are making the rules up now…next thing coming is banning tackle football and replacing it with flag football. And the NFL can’t figure out why they are losing viewers. smh