NFL owners will vote next week to eliminate the so-called “tuck rule” that allows a quarterback to lose the ball while trying to bring the ball back to his body–after a pump fake, for instance–and not have it be ruled a fumble.
The rule gained infamy during an AFC playoff game in 2001 between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders when Charles Woodson, then with the Raiders, sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and appeared to cause a fumble only to have it overruled because of the “tuck rule.”
The NFL Competition Committee proposed this change along with five others:
The change will make it so a player loses possession when he tries to bring the ball back to his body. (Yes, then Tom Brady’s play should have been ruled a fumble in that case.) If the passer loses control while the ball is going forward, it’s still incomplete. If he loses the ball while tucking, it’s a fumble.