Get an early peek at the 49ers' unusual 2024 NFL Draft hat.

ORLANDO— Jed York wanted the NFL to fix its most boring play. After casting one of three “no” votes against the league's kickoff proposal, which NFL owners accepted on Tuesday, the 49ers' CEO said he wanted the league to be able to make rule changes midseason.

York said a drastic change may have unexpected implications, thus the NFL needed to be ready to pivot with minor in-season changes. As specified, modifications cannot occur until after the 2024 season.

York stated Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting that the first season of the kickoff rule failed if injury data or competitive issues failed. “I'm 100% for reviving that play in our game. “I think they worked hard to make something work. I'm sure there will be modifications, and I'd rather do so mid-season than at the end of the year. All done.”

Due to the high injury rate, the NFL generally banned the kickoff. The 49ers' overtime loss to Kansas City was the first Super Bowl without kickoff returns. The back of the end zone kickoffs accounted for 12 of the 13 touchbacks.

On Tuesday, league owners comfortably approved the new kickoff regulation, which begins with the kicker setting the ball on the 35-yard line tee. Nearly everything else has changed from previous seasons except the kickoff.

The kicking team will place one foot on the receiving team's 40-yard line. The receiving team will have nine players between their 30- and 35-yard lines. Players cannot move until the kick hits the ground or a player enters the landing zone (the goal line to the 20-yard line).

All landing zone kicks must be returned. The receiving team takes over at the 40-yard line for kicks that miss. Touchbacks that land in the end zone place the ball at the 30-yard line, while those that skip from the landing zone to the end zone place it at the 20-yard line.

It's fascinating, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan remarked of the new regulation. “I doubt anyone knows. Different timing occurs when guys are placed differently. Watching will be fun. We'll sort it out as we go. That will be enjoyable in the league but different each week.”

A new rule based on the XFL's kickoff protocol aims to reduce high-speed collisions on kickoff returns and increase action. “From a health and safety standpoint, we've tried to address the play because it was the highest injury-rate play,” York said. They're trying to reintroduce the play to the game and make it more authentic than ceremonial.  I'm 100% for that. I want to make sure we can address something fresh midseason

Stay turned for development