The game of football is changing. With the increased awareness of concussions, the NFL is trying to refine the rules to protect the players, but with any rule change, it’s going to take time for the players to adjust.
The league is doing whatever it can to take the helmet out the game.
Here is the new rule change that the NFL approved back in March:
It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Contact does not have to be to an opponent’s head or neck area – lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent’s torso, hips, and lower body, is also a foul. Violations of the rule will be easier to see and officiate when they occur in open space – as opposed to close line play – but this rule applies anywhere on the field at any time.
Penalties for Violation: Loss of 15 yards. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down. The player may also be ejected. Ejection standards:
Player lowers his helmet to establish a linear body posture prior to initiating and making contact with the helmet
Unobstructed path to his opponent
Contact clearly avoidable and player delivering the blow had other options
After watching the first week of the preseason, it seems that every big hit is going to be a penalty, so you wonder what kind impact it will have on the game when the regular season gets underway.
Hall of Famer and former defensive back Aeneas Williams likes the new changes. He believes the changes are good for the players and good for the game:
‘It may be a slight adjustment, or some of the guys may not like it at first, but it’s going to cause quality of life after the game,” Williams recently told Paul Gant. “It’s going to help cause less injuries, but we still will have the same an exciting brand of football. It just will be an adjustment; it will take a little while for guys to adjust, but they will, and it still will be a great game.”
Taking the helmet out the game is not a bad thing, especially with what we know about concussions. Will players adjust? In reality, they don’t have a choice, but for now, be prepared to see a lot of yellow on the field.
Listen below as Williams talks his career, The Award for Excellence program, and the new rule changes in the NFL: