NFL to test computer chips in footballs in preseason

Associated Press
Matt Prater of the Lions kicks the ball for the extra point against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field.

The NFL will test computer chips in footballs this preseason to determine how well the balls perform, particularly in the kicking game.

Data collected from the chips also could help with officiating in the future, including goal-line and short-yardage plays.

As part of the league’s Next Gen Stats program, the competition committee will review results for potential uses of the data collected. Such information could wind up being part of Thursday night NFL telecasts this season.

Included among the data that will be collected is how far the ball travels on a particular play, and the ball’s proximity to the goal posts on a field goal or extra point.

Such information can be used in determining if the distance between uprights needs to be shortened.