This is a couple of times that we've been penalized when one of our punts deflects off one of the opposing players and someone happens to be within 5 yards. I don't kow if this rule has been changed recently but I don't recall seeing it before this year.The worst part is that it is a 15 yard penalty if it was in the air. I can understand a 15 yard penalty for encroaching on the punt returner because it can cause injuries but there is no intent to injure in this case.
The "no yard" rule was created to protect punt returners and also to penalize teams that purposely encroach upon the 5 yard zone to prevent runbacks. There is no intent in these cases, the guys are usually blocking each other. A smart blocker could see that the punt is coming down close to him and knowing that the guy he is blocking is within 5 yards of him, he could intentionally try to touch the ball to incur a 15 yard penalty.
Has this rule been changed recently?