NFL to take ball movement, going to ground out of catch rule

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PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Jesse James #81 of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives for the end zone for an apparent touchdown in the fourth quarter during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on December 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After official review, it was ruled an incomplete pass
Joe Sargent / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NFL is prepared to take a step backward in order to move forward with more clarity regarding catches, a senior league official told Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

The league's competition committee is currently working on adjusting its catch rule to no longer require a player to go to ground to maintain control of the football. It would also prevent the slight movement of the football in a player's hands being called an incompletion upon replay review.

"We worked backward. We looked at plays and said, 'Do you want that to be a catch?' and then we applied that to the rule," vice president of football operations Troy Vincent explained to Maske.

"Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we'll reverse that. Going to the ground, it looks like that's going to be eliminated. And we'll go back to the old replay standard of revers(ing) the call on the field only when it's indisputable."

The rule is expected to be finalized Tuesday and brought forward for approval by team owners at the league meeting beginning Sunday.