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Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

NFL owners tabled a proposal Thursday that would have given teams an alternative to the onside kick, which has become nearly impossible to convert under the current kickoff rules.

The proposal: If passed, teams would have had two opportunities per game to replace a kickoff with one offensive down from their 25-yard line following a score. If the offensive team gained at least 15 yards, it would retain possession. If not, it would return the ball to the defense.

What they're saying: "That one got the most discussion, and there's interest in possibly looking at what we can do here ... But this one was just a little bit too much of a gimmick," said Steelers president Art Rooney II.

By the numbers: From 1992 to 2017, 21.2% of onside kicks were recovered, per NFL Research. Then, in 2018, the owners passed a rule restricting players from lining up more than one yard from the point of the kickoff.

  • In the two seasons since, the league-wide success rate has been cut in half (10.6%), with teams recovering just 12 of 113 onside kicks.
  • Remove Younghoe Koo, whose golden boot helped the Falcons recover two in the same game last season, and the success rate hits single digits (8.8%).

Wild stat ... The new kickoff rule has clearly affected the ability to overcome late deficits. Over the past two seasons, teams have attempted an expected onside kick (meaning not a surprise one) in 104 games. Those teams lost all 104 games.

What's next: Owners didn't take an official vote after a straw poll produced a 16-16 tie, so the proposal was tabled and discussions will likely pick back up next year.

Go deeper: Coronavirus canceling football would break college sports

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2020 - Sports

Browns and Bengals can host up to 6,000 fans for two home games each

Cleveland Browns players work out without fans during training camp at FirstEnergy Stadium in August. Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced Saturday that the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals can host up to 6,000 fans at two home games each scheduled for September and October.

Why it matters: DeWine's approval comes after three NFL teams agreed to host spectators. The Cowboys, Chiefs and Dolphins also promised to have fans in the stands during their first games of the regular season.

Go deeper: NFL says its coronavirus positive test rate is under 1%

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 mins ago - World

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”

17 seconds ago - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.