A proposed NFL rule change could eliminate the kickoff from games. The idea of eliminating the kickoff arrived via NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
In a Time Magazine piece with Sean Gregory, the NFL commissioner reveals:
[...] after a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30-yard line, where it’s fourth and 15. The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession, or punt. If you go for it and fall short, the opposing team would take over with good field position. In essence, punts would replace kickoffs, and punts are less susceptible to violent collisions than kickoffs.
The new plan was thought up by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who noted:
“It’s a much different end of the play…It’s an off-the-wall idea. It’s different and makes you think differently. It did me.”
Schiano proposed the new rules after his own Rutgers University player Eric LeGrand suffered a paralyzing injury in 2010.
NFL officials this year instituted new kickoff return rules to help protect offensive and defensive special team players. The NFL claims that injuries have already been reduced because of new measures that include moving kickoffs to the 35-yard line to increase touchbacks with five less yards needed to reach the endzone.
With men like Devon Hester creating some of the most memorable plays of each season by breaking through an entire special teams defensive line, this particular move to protect players will likely not be well received by many NFL fans.
Do you support the new NFL rule change that would eliminate kickoff returns?