Defensive players’ knees have just been given some extra protection.
NFL owners voted today to ban “roll up” blocks to the side of a player’s leg. These blocks were already illegal from behind, and now the owners have agreed to add the words “or side” to the rules preventing blocks to the knee from behind.
For years, as the NFL has instituted new rules designed to protect quarterbacks and receivers, defensive players have asked, “What about us?” Today’s vote shows that the NFL has listened.
And listening to defensive players is long overdue. A defensive player shouldn’t have to worry about his knee getting blown out by a block he can’t see coming. Just as defensive players have been taught to lower their targets and not hit offensive players in the head, offensive players can be told to raise their targets when blocking from the side and hit the midsection, not the knees.