Yesterday, at the end of the Packers-Bills game (2014 Week 15), Rodgers fumbled into his own endzone. Eddie Lacy recovered it, but was unable to fight his way out, resulting in a game-winning safety.
The TV coverage pointed out an interesting wrinkle: even if he had made it out, it still would have been considered a safety, due to this section of the NFL's fumble rule:
If any player fumbles after the two-minute warning in a half, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball. If recovered by any other offensive player, the ball is dead at the spot of the fumble unless it is recovered behind the spot of the fumble. In that case, the ball is dead at the spot of recovery. Any defensive player may recover and/or advance any fumble at any time.
It seems to be little-known enough that Lacy himself didn't know it, since his recovery of the ball was what ended the play and sealed the game. Only Rodgers could have run it out of the endzone to avoid the loss. Of course, in the actual game, the outcome was inevitable, because Rodgers had no idea where the ball was.
My guess is that this rule exists to discourage "intentional fumbling" in desperate situations. Is that right? Does anyone know when it was added, and whether the league ever had an "intentional fumbling" problem?