NFL to vote on punt changes and kickoffs for safety
The NFL will consider significant changes to the kicking game, with the competition committee proposing that the league adopt the college rule that allows touchdowns on fair takes from kickoffs and moves the touchdown spot on kickoffs. clearance to the 25 yard line.
NFL manager Troy Vincent said Friday that the competition committee has been reviewing various college and spring league kickoff rules to try to reduce injuries on what is one of the most dangerous games.
Vincent said the league needs more data from an XFL rule that reduces high-velocity collisions by lining up coverage players 35 yards in front of the kicker and 5 yards from blockers, but said the rule of the college that allows fair strikes to be treated as touchdowns will reduce injuries by approximately ’20-25%’
“It may not be perfect. I think it will warrant a good discussion on the pitch,” Vincent said.
“The one thing we all agreed on was that you can’t leave this game as it is, not with the injury rates that we’ve seen. You cannot leave it as it is.
Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL competition committee, said the league has considered several ideas for changing the punt game, which currently has the highest rate of injuries and penalties.
But for now, the committee is proposing a simple approach of moving touchdowns from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line in hopes of reducing the number of punts.
“The idea would be that if we put this rule in place, you could actually get people to go in fourth,” McKay said.
These two rule changes were among eight proposed by the competition committee that will be considered by the owners at their meeting next week in Arizona. Any rule change requires the support of at least 24 of the 32 teams.
There are also nine potential rule changes proposed by teams that were previously announced by the league and will be voted on next week.
These include setter roughness penalties and personal foul penalties subject to video review, the ability to try to convert a fourth and 20 from the 20-yard line of the team kicking the instead of attempting a kick in play, adding tenths of a second to the stadium clock late in both halves and an extra spot on the gameday roster for an emergency quarterback.
The league will continue to study but is not ready to vote on potential rule changes in two other areas that came under scrutiny last season: push play and hip drops. tackles”.
So-called “push play” has been used extensively by the NFC champion Eagles this season with players pushing quarterback Jalen Hurts forward on stealthy QBs from close range.
McKay said there was no evidence the game caused more injuries and there was no consensus on a rule change.
“I think that’s something we’re going to look at and continue to study if that changes,” he said. “There are definitely not 24 people who think this should be changed.”
The “hip-drop” tackle resulted in several injuries, including a broken leg for Dallas running back Tony Pollard and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury in the playoffs.
Vincent said the injury rate on hip drop tackles is 20 per cent higher than normal, saying it’s similar to ‘horse collar’ tackles which are already banned. But figuring out the best way to change the rule has been difficult.
“I think the challenge we have is how do you define it, what is its true prevalence, and how do you take it out of the game,” McKay said. “There is a process to this. I think that’s what we’ll go through. I’m not giving you any timeline, but we’re there. … We understand that there is injury data that indicates we should be looking at this. U.S. too.”
The owners will also consider whether to add a “flexible” option for Thursday Night Football to ensure Amazon offers more competitive games in this package. While players would resent some teams being forced to play extra games on Thursdays and it would inconvenience ticket holders, Miller said there was no evidence that games played on a shorter rest result in more injuries.
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