When defenseless players are hit in the knees this season, NFL officials will be carefully monitoring those hits and taking notes. The league’s competition committee says, if enough evidence points to knee hits “becoming a problem,” they may take action.
The committee will likely make the recommendation to owners that a new rule specifically forbids hits to the knees of defenseless players. Owners would ultimately have to vote yes for the measure to go into effect.
Chief of Football operations Ray Anderson tells the Associated Press:
“We are always looking at plays that may elevate themselves and we do include in that category hits on defenseless players. And certainly the hits to knees to players who have not had the opportunity to protect themselves or are not looking in the direction of where the hit comes from — we have had a couple hits whereby a player was hit below [or at] the knees.”
The NFL already bans hits to the head and neck of defenseless players but has not set a rule about hits to the knees. This off-season Miami Tight end Dustin Keller and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams suffered injury caused by defenseless hits to their knees. Keller tore several ligaments in his knee and Williams suffered from hyper-extension.
After plays are monitored, hits are aggregated and data is collected the committee will decide on its final course of action.
According to Anderson, his committee decided to investigate hits to defenseless players knees without any suggestions from team owners or players.
Do you think the NFL needs to implement a hit to the knee rule in the case of defenseless players?