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2020 Rule Changes

No more chains to be lost due to latest rules change

Rules chain-ge addresses the Talib-Crabtree feud.



It was a silly part of a feud between cornerback Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree, where Talib twice snatched a chain from Crabtree’s neck. The NFL slipped in a rule that would have prevented this from happening again, although they were at least kind enough to wait for the year that both players were not on any team’s roster.

In Rule 5, Section 4, the particulars of uniform rules are all spelled out. Violations typically would be changed at the next stoppage in play, unless there is a reason for an immediate withdrawal of a player, such as a previous warning or a safety hazard.

Rule 5-4-4 now precludes the Crabtree chain, with the added text in bold:

In addition to the prohibited items of equipment and apparel specified above, the following also are prohibited …
Hard objects, exposed jewelry, and substances, including but not limited to casts, guards or braces for hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, hip, thigh, knee, and shin, unless such items are appropriately covered on all edges and surfaces by a minimum of ⅜-inch foam rubber or similar soft material.

So, if the chain is out of sight, it will be okay. But if it is snatchable, then the player will be asked to remove it during the next stoppage or, in some cases, immediately. Typically, this would be picked up in warmups, where a player would be reminded to keep jewelry in his locker or have it covered up.

So, no more tweets like this from us, with its underappreciated rap reference.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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