There have been several rule changes in the recent past designed to make the game safer for quarterbacks and the league’s vice president of officiating says that there will be discussions about expanding them this offseason.
Against a backdrop of quarterback injuries that has seen nine placed on injured reserve this season, Dean Blandino said that the league was interested in seeing if there was more they could do to keep them safe. They’ll review injury data for quarterbacks and other positions and look at video as part of the review process.
“Should he always get protection from low hits or head hits, regardless of the posture he’s presenting?” Blandino said, via the Associated Press. “Part of the conversation will be: Should that protection be expanded to all times when the quarterback has the ball in the pocket? Currently the quarterback is as protected now as he’s ever been, but I think that’s been the case for eight or nine years.”
The slew of injuries this season, including ones suffered by Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler that haven’t required visits to injured reserve, hasn’t been prompted by a run of hits that should be made illegal. It also isn’t an annual happening. In 2012, 20 of 32 teams started one quarterback all season and only one quarterback was placed on injured reserve.
While the league is clearly going to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting quarterbacks, there doesn’t seem to be a glaring hole in the rules on that front at the moment.