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NFL says Jamaal Charles did not break crown of helmet rule

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Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles lowered the top of his helmet into Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Thursday night, but he didn’t draw a penalty. And the NFL says the officials got that call right.

According to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officiating, Charles did not break the new “crown of the helmet rule” because the hit was inside the tackle box. Blandino said in a video distributed to the media that Charles initiated his contact three yards beyond the line of scrimmage, which makes the hit legal — but it would have been illegal if he had been any further downfield.

“It was not outside the tackle box. The tackle box is tackle to tackle and [up to] three yards beyond the line of scrimmage,” Blandino said. “The ball was snapped at the 28-yard line and this contact is going to occur right at three yards. It’s right at the 31. It’s just at the outside edge of the tackle box, and so this contact inside the tackle box is legal.”

So why is a hit with the crown of the helmet legal inside the tackle box when it would be illegal outside the tackle box? Blandino said running backs need to be able to lower their heads as they run into the middle of the line.

“In the tackle box you’ve got a lot of bodies,” Blandino said. “The back doesn’t know where the hits are coming from. He’s got to be able to try to get small, absorb those blows, and we didn’t want to prohibit the back from lowering his head to try to protect himself and absorb some of these blows.”

So even though Charles initiated contact with the crown of his helmet, he did so where that’s legal: Inside the tackle box.

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22 Responses to “NFL says Jamaal Charles did not break crown of helmet rule”
  1. wearethesteelers says: Sep 20, 2013 6:42 PM

    Every new rule change should have to go through the Rooneys to ensure the integrity of the game is preserved.

  2. ottawabrave91 says: Sep 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    he trucked a couple people and ran around several. he got better as game went on. he too fast to chase around constantly and not get worn out

  3. bennyb82 says: Sep 20, 2013 6:48 PM

    So many rule changes…when will there be a cool one like rock, paper, scissors instead of a coinflip?

  4. afcdomination says: Sep 20, 2013 6:49 PM

    take that people who were saying Charles’ play was illegal.

  5. ecarlso8 says: Sep 20, 2013 7:07 PM

    So rb’s can give lb’s concussions but not db’s

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 20, 2013 7:08 PM

    Purt near broke the crown of poor Michael, though.

  7. iceburgskin202 says: Sep 20, 2013 7:26 PM

    They’re trying to take football out of football!!!

  8. sportsmeccabi says: Sep 20, 2013 7:27 PM

    This rule sucks.

  9. prmpft says: Sep 20, 2013 7:32 PM

    For those non-academics or soccer fans – disregard this post…Listen, you cannot play this game without following the LAWS of PHYSICS – the guy has to get LOW to gain yardage – you CANNOT do that by running straight up – do not be sucked into the IDIOT vacuum that the nfl front office is trying to create – Impeach goddell! He is trying to ruin our sport!

  10. mogogo1 says: Sep 20, 2013 7:34 PM

    So many rules, each one with a bunch of exceptions. No wonder that even the referees are constantly confused.

  11. kando53 says: Sep 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    It’s an absurd rule if the difference between penalty, or no penalty, is merely a matter of yards, even if the player situation is exactly the same.

  12. mrbigass says: Sep 20, 2013 7:43 PM

    Referees will now be forced to carry a Stanley tape measure to determine if a foul has been committed…..

  13. tlcummins says: Sep 20, 2013 8:22 PM

    This is why penalties should be reviewed either by a challenge or by booth. A game should not be decided by bad calls or questionable ones

  14. nananatman says: Sep 20, 2013 8:26 PM

    What if his legs were at the 31 but his “crown” made contact at the 32? He would be in and out of the “tackle box” and the ball would be around the 31.5.

  15. ncs115 says: Sep 20, 2013 8:35 PM

    The please don’t sue us rule in full effect….resign Goodell, You Suck!

  16. bag217 says: Sep 20, 2013 9:47 PM

    Of course it’s not a penalty. It was against the Eagles.

  17. micknangold says: Sep 20, 2013 10:36 PM

    You guys are right. The NFL should just leave themselves open to as much litigation as possible. Because that’s how you run an efficient business – spending millions upon millions in court.

  18. micknangold says: Sep 20, 2013 10:36 PM

    You guys are right. The NFL should just leave themselves open to as much litigation as possible. Because that’s how you run an efficient business – spending millions upon millions in court.

  19. bennyb82 says: Sep 20, 2013 10:57 PM

    If someone who has never watched football before saw an NFL game, they would probably wonder why each team starts a possession with the opponent kicking a ball out of the endzone. And we would explain that football was not always this way…

  20. goodellmustgo says: Sep 21, 2013 8:26 AM

    They are making NFL football soft so that eventually women can play. Let’s hope that the USFL comeback is for real so that we can get back to playing real football.

  21. shayeezy says: Sep 21, 2013 10:02 AM

    charles has shown flashes of marshawn lynch and walter payton this season. had some really tough runs in the fourth quarter of this game.. did the same thing last week, including a trucking of morris claiborne.

  22. raiderstink56 says: Sep 26, 2013 10:39 PM

    They should lengthen the field 20 yards now and play a 18 game season…

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