Beginning of a New Era for Football With Proposed NFL Rule Change

Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) during the first quarter in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Due to the increasing number of concussion-driven lawsuits, the NFL may be contemplating a major rule change that could alter the game dramatically. The new proposed rule will make it illegal for a ballcarrier to lead with the crown of his helmet when outside of the tackle box.

The proposal would make it a 15-yard penalty for either the ballcarrier or the tackler to initiate contact with the crown of their helmet. The league called it a necessary safety measure and a next step in the efforts to protect players from head injuries.

Commissioner Goodell’s mission is to fundamentally change the way football is played, all for the sake of player safety—or just to stop the lawsuits from coming in.

At this point, the league’s war against lawsuits concussions is getting out of hand. What exactly is a ballcarrier in the open field supposed to do when a linebacker or safety is running at him full steam? Keep their head up and wait for their face to be broken? These football players have been playing the game for years, so they can’t just turn off a switch and forget how they’ve been taught to play since peewee football. It’s instinct.

Some football players have already voiced their opinions in regard to this proposed rule change. Matt Forte chimed in on Twitter:

Forte is right. Even Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith disagreed with the rule. If the league approves the rule, Smith says that will be proof that the league “lost its mind.”

The game’s very existence is predicated on fighting for that extra yard, that extra inch. How can that be done with a ballcarrier running up high? And, more importantly, how can the ballcarrier possibly be safe running the ball upright? That would just make the runner more predisposed to injuries because they become a bigger target.

This game keeps changing and may not be recognizable a few years down the road. National Flag Football League, anyone?

Do you agree with the proposed NFL rule change?

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Topics: Football, NFL

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