Owners Pass Ban On Patriots' Ineligible Receiver Trick


Owners have banned the Patriots' ineligible receiver trick they used against the Ravens in the AFC divisional playoffs.

While the Patriots contended immediately after the game – and once again at the owners meetings – that they did nothing against the rules during the game, the league's coaches and owners felt it shouldn't be allowed going forward.

The Patriots declared running back Shane Vereen and tight end Michael Hoomanawani, who were lined up outside, ineligible. It led to confusion with the Ravens and referees, and contributed to a Patriots touchdown that cut the Ravens' 14-point second-half lead in half.

The new rule requires a player with an eligible receiver's number (No. 1-49, 80-89) to line up within the tackle box. If they line up incorrectly, it's a 5-yard penalty for illegal substitution.

The rule change was proposed by former NFL player and coach John Madden, who now leads the competition committee.

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft got a bit defensive when asked about the rule proposal on Monday.

"We didn't take advantage of anything," Kraft said. "We played by the rules. If you read the rulebook, you'd see that. We didn't take advantage. We executed according to the rules, and we've always tried to do that.

"However you can get an edge within the rules, I compliment that."

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