The NFL has a passed a rule banning running backs from running into defenders with the crown of their helmet. The ban passed almost unanimously, with only the Bengals voting against it.
The crown of helmet rule will take effect this year, banning running back from lowering their heads into tacklers. The NFL is hoping to make the game safer and reduce the risk of head injuries by removing the dangerous move from the game.
By eliminating the helmet as a “weapon,” runners will be forced to use their shoulders or hand to knock away on-coming traffic. Legendary running back Jim Brown has no problem with that. As a vocal supporter of the new rule he says, “I used my forearm. The palm of my hand. And my shoulder. And my shoulder pads. I wasn’t putting my head into too much of anything. I don’t think that’s a good idea. At least, it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.”
Retired running back Marshall Faulk thinks if the NFL wants to ban running backs from using their helmets, the league should remove helmets from the game entirely. He says, “Take the helmets off. Let’s be honest, if you think the helmet is a weapon, take it off. Because I know that helmet on my head is not being use to head-butt anyone, it’s being used to protect myself.”
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher points out, “The helmet is a protective device, but it’s not being used as that as of late. This is to protect the players.”
The NFL is used this violent hit from current Browns’ running back Trent Richardson as an example of using the helmet as a weapon:
The passing of the rule came down to owners, who voted 31-1 in favor at the owner’s meetings. Now players will have to adjust. Defenders faced the same issue a number of years ago when owners voted against tackling using the crown of the helmet. Now hard hitters like Dashon Goldson take pride in being able to hit like a freight train while using proper technique.
Do you think the NFL made the right call banning head on hits by running backs? Are helmets being used as weapons by players instead of as safety devices?