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NFL bans low blocks from behind

Brian Cushing AP

Defensive players are now protected from being blocked in the knees from behind, after owners voted to change the league’s rules today.

The rules change, which seemed to be popular both with players and fans, will go into effect for the 2013 season. It will make the rule on low blocks consistent everywhere on the field, after the rules had previously banned low blocks from behind in most areas of the field but allowed peel-back blocks into defenders’ knees inside the tackle box.

As the NFL has increasingly cracked down on hits to offensive players’ heads, defensive players have increasingly complained that their knees need more protection. Now the NFL has listened to those complaints.

The owners also voted on a rules change that will prevent teams from loading up on one side of the line of scrimmage on extra points and field goal attempts, to try to prevent injuries in pile-ups on such plays.

More controversial proposals on the tuck rule, replay challenges and players lowering their helmets have not yet come to a vote at the league meeting.

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42 Responses to “NFL bans low blocks from behind”
  1. swashbucklin says: Mar 19, 2013 2:45 PM

    Okay guys, NOW Brady Quinn is done.

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: Mar 19, 2013 2:47 PM

    Bout damn time. Any block to the knee should result in an ejection. I’ve seen too many seasons and/or careers ended by these obviously dangerous blocks.

    Ever had knee surgery? It’s about as painful as it gets. But as fans, we just shrug our shoulders and justify it by noting that they’re well paid.

    This is a long overdue, common sense move.

  3. bspurloc says: Mar 19, 2013 2:48 PM

    Oh no what is Flozell Adams gunna do now :(

  4. 808raiderinparadise says: Mar 19, 2013 2:48 PM

    Agree.

    But that RB crown stuff makes me sick.

    Unless you want to see broken chins and jaws.

  5. blackngold4life says: Mar 19, 2013 2:48 PM

    Texans run blocking is in trouble

  6. philliampenn says: Mar 19, 2013 2:50 PM

    Good rule. Should have been voted in a while ago but better late than never.

  7. modellforprez says: Mar 19, 2013 2:51 PM

    Casey Hampton is smiling like a butchers dog. too bad he probably wont be back with the Steelers

  8. baltimorons says: Mar 19, 2013 2:54 PM

    Good thing Baltimore got their Super Bowl win this year. That’s a team that lived by the cut blocks.

  9. jets4gold says: Mar 19, 2013 2:55 PM

    New rule: All tackling is banned. No touching player with ball. In fact, no defensive players on field

  10. i10east says: Mar 19, 2013 2:59 PM

    About time there’s one rule change that I like.

  11. dryzzt23 says: Mar 19, 2013 2:59 PM

    NFL Players and the NFLPA had better never complain about these new rules. Why you ask? Simple, every NFL player ever is suing the NFL, that costs millions in legal fees for the NFL plus all the liability involved.
    It is the same principle in medicine. Patients who who think they’ve been injured sue the doctor or hospital, the insurance company pays, the doctors liability insurance skyrockets, and the increase is passed on to customers via higher premiums.
    I side with the owners here, they must protect themselves from the players.

  12. jwil007 says: Mar 19, 2013 2:59 PM

    Foster’s(Denver) block on Tony Williams(Cincy) back in 04′ on Monday night against the Broncos was gruesome…It ended the dudes career…This is way overdue!

  13. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:01 PM

    The problem with this will be the ref’s interpretation of this rule on the field.

  14. reed20fence says: Mar 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    They didn’t ban cut blocks you moron. They banned blocks to the knee from behind. You now, the thing the shredded Cushing’s knee and contributed in the long run to the downfall of the Texans?

    One useless and cheap block destroyed that team’s season.

  15. cappa662 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    Now ban low blocks all together.

  16. jjb0811 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    try as the might, its a physical game and injuries are part of the game.

  17. cooklynn17 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:05 PM

    OK depends on what else they do, I might ban ever going back to any NFL stadium.

    Red Zone Channel here I come.

    The NFL already has an attendance problem so changing the game we love to the point where you can no longer recognize it will not help them sell tickets.

    I mean really guys enough is enough. Rember the talk of no more kickoffs, running backs can’t lower the head, totally ridiculous. When they start to lose money an attendance effects the bottom line then and only then may things change back to normal, a little bit.

    Time to invest in a 70 inch flat screen, a phrase the NFL never wants to hear.

  18. ravenator says: Mar 19, 2013 3:06 PM

    baltimorons says:
    Mar 19, 2013 2:54 PM
    Good thing Baltimore got their Super Bowl win this year. That’s a team that lived by the cut blocks.

    ——————————

    What’s that you say – oh your team isn’t competitive, relevant, or the reigning superbowl champions. Got it.

  19. sunrider101 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:07 PM

    cut blocks are still legal. learn the rules before you post. dumb stoolers fans.

  20. wrenches2pipes says: Mar 19, 2013 3:08 PM

    It’s about time. I couldn’t believe those blocks were allowed. Blind side, cheap shots. You could see some players pull up because they didn’t want to do it.

  21. macbull says: Mar 19, 2013 3:09 PM

    Low blocks from behind have been illegal since I played football back in the late 1960s.

    It was called it “clipping” and was a 15 yd penalty.

    I believe it was a penalty in the NFL too, so it’s not like Goodell is breaking any new ground with this announcement.

  22. justintuckrule says: Mar 19, 2013 3:10 PM

    This was already penalized as an illegal block in the back.

    Here’s my proposed rule change. Get rid of yellow flags and give all the refs green flags. If the play is clean, throw a green flag. I’m sick of being conditioned to look for a yellow flag on every play. At least this way, flags can now be associated with good play.

  23. rextraordinaire says: Mar 19, 2013 3:15 PM

    “Whew, dodged a bullet there. So glad I’m retired now”

    -Hines Ward

  24. tonymontana45 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:15 PM

    Great another rule for the refs to administer as they see fit, which will most likely not be called equally. Just like PI, hitting a defenseless receiver, and hits to the Qb….

  25. britishteeth says: Mar 19, 2013 3:16 PM

    Can’t they just ban blocking all together? The Bears haven’t been blocking for years and they almost made the playoff last year!

  26. dowhatifeellike says: Mar 19, 2013 3:26 PM

    Not sure why the existing rule only allowed a particularly dangerous variety of block from behind. Should have done away with them years ago.

  27. shaggytoodle says: Mar 19, 2013 3:32 PM

    808raiderinparadise says: Mar 19, 2013 2:48 PM

    Agree.

    But that RB crown stuff makes me sick.

    Unless you want to see broken chins and jaws.
    __________________

    I understand your concern as far as those injuries, and I understand its going to cheapen the value of a power RB, but the NFL can’t have it both ways.

    Just, because AP has the ball doesn’t mean he can lead with the crown of his helmet and initiate the contact in that matter.

    How is that fair to the DBs. That make accidental helmet/helmet contact when someone’s protecting themselves, While AP is in a prime position to give/recieve concussions?

  28. therealraider says: Mar 19, 2013 3:33 PM

    Seriously . Low hits FROM BEHIND.. that just straight dirty.. if you have to go low from behind. You got beat.

  29. cmich2006 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:34 PM

    Raven run blocking is in trouble.

  30. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:36 PM

    Eventually, because of lawyers, lawsuits, and agents, the league will begin to resemble, quite literally, a non-contact sport. Of course this is likely 30 years down the line and will be internationalized by then, but nevertheless, sad.

  31. steelerben says: Mar 19, 2013 3:44 PM

    This is at least a rule change that makes sense. If you’re concerned about player safety, then this one, and an increase in the standards for field conditions make sense.

    Stopping the running back from running behind his helmet makes sense in theory, but if applied in a way that prevents a running back from running behind his pads does not. You also can’t flag a RB from turtling up in an effort to protect himself and the football from a linebacker or safety bursting through the hole full speed. That’s going to put a lot of judgement of intent into the implementation of the rule, which is never a good thing.

  32. bigdawg24 says: Mar 19, 2013 4:34 PM

    Like that cheap shot Stevie Johnson from Buffalo put on Eric Berry snapping his ACL 2 years ago in Week #1.

  33. thefiesty1 says: Mar 19, 2013 4:38 PM

    And how is this different than a clipping penalty? Not much of a rule change.

  34. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Mar 19, 2013 4:44 PM

    ravenator says:

    What’s that you say – oh your team isn’t competitive, relevant, or the reigning superbowl champions. Got it.

    ————————————————

    Get over yourself already. You make Steelers fans look humble.

  35. melikefootball says: Mar 19, 2013 5:13 PM

    There will be so many rules that games will take six hour for all the refs to get together and see why the flag was thrown.

  36. micknangold says: Mar 19, 2013 5:26 PM

    So, if you’re a tackle and an edge rusher beats you off the snap, instead of recovering with a low block you’re legally only allowed to watch him crush your QB. Brilliant.

  37. Canned Heat says: Mar 19, 2013 5:35 PM

    micknangold says: Mar 19, 2013 5:26 PM

    So, if you’re a tackle and an edge rusher beats you off the snap, instead of recovering with a low block you’re legally only allowed to watch him crush your QB. Brilliant.
    __________________________________

    Well, they could hold the guy that beat them….oh wait, they already do.

    That low block outside the tackle box or free blocking zone in HS/college is illegal anywhere else but in the NFL.

    It still isn’t illegal….read the from behind part, genius. Crack backs are illegal on the back of the legs. LOW blocks are still legal…..for this week anyway.

  38. wrenches2pipes says: Mar 19, 2013 5:39 PM

    mickmangled Thats called FOOTBALL.

  39. nite2al says: Mar 19, 2013 6:13 PM

    If a thread pops that refers to sideline chalk, someone will find a way to bring up the Ravens.

    I almost don’t want to win another Superbowl.

  40. thelastpieceofcheese says: Mar 19, 2013 6:59 PM

    The 1,000 yard runner will go the way of the dinosaur.

  41. dobreshunka says: Mar 19, 2013 7:09 PM

    Good rule, but too late for Casey Hampton. Make sure the Harbaughs get the memo.

  42. 2difshoe says: Mar 19, 2013 8:01 PM

    Every new rule change places control and outcome of the game in the ref’s hands,
    and that’s not how sports were meant to be played.

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