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NFL bans “roll up” blocks to the side of a player’s leg


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.

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52 Responses to “NFL bans “roll up” blocks to the side of a player’s leg”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 25, 2014 11:15 AM

    What protection do pittsburgh steelers players get from david decastro rolling up on their knees?!?

  2. basballguy says: Mar 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    I can get behind this

  3. blowpackblow says: Mar 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    I wish Roger would just do away with tackling all together.

  4. longhairdontcare66 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:19 AM

    They should call it the Cushing Rule- two years in a row his season is cut short by a dirty play.

  5. primenumber19 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:21 AM

    Bout time, still doesn’t stop goodell and those boys from being gnarly hypocrites though

  6. baltimoresnativeson says: Mar 25, 2014 11:21 AM

    Good!!! this is actually an excellent rule addition for once.

    Shouldn’t have taken this long.

  7. z06vision says: Mar 25, 2014 11:23 AM

    There goes the Broncos chances of winning this year.

  8. wadrules1 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:24 AM

    Look out Denver, you won’t be able to crack knees anymore.

  9. unclebluck says: Mar 25, 2014 11:25 AM

    Are they going to outlaw rolling through the O backfield and then wind milling your leg into the QB’s crotch…Suh style?

  10. savior72 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:28 AM

    Just put flags on their waistbands and get it over with.

  11. bradkaz96 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    Boy this really is the no fun league. Now you cant even tear somebody’s ACL? What is this league coming to?

  12. kerrchris65 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:32 AM

    sounds like more phantom penalties will be the norm.

  13. posmoo says: Mar 25, 2014 11:32 AM

    the nfl should be focusing on brain damage, not ligament damage, not soft tissue damage, which has never been so easily recovered from in history. what’s next? what are you actually changing the game for? so former players have a slightly smaller percentage of arthritic knees 50 years they got in exchange for several million dollars and fame?

  14. robkiss1234567890 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:33 AM

    they forgot to address stabbing to the players legs

  15. raymondtx says: Mar 25, 2014 11:34 AM

    Thank you!


    Brian Cushing

  16. ez4u2sa says: Mar 25, 2014 11:34 AM

    Here’s a radical thought. ALL NFL players should be required to wear knee braces on both knees. They wouldn’t like it but the extra protection would be worth it. NFL fans have got be getting tired of seeing their favorite players go down with season ending knee injuries.

  17. baldbuc says: Mar 25, 2014 11:36 AM

    … and the Ravens just hired Gary Kubiak as OC. I bet they are rethinking that move now.

  18. notwithkubiak says: Mar 25, 2014 11:36 AM

    Houston Texans are going to have some problems blocking now.

  19. flicka727 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:43 AM

    Good news for 3-4 teams and even better news for a guy like Louis Nix as hes gonna get drafted a little higher.

  20. bullethead527 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:45 AM

    Charles Johnson rule?

  21. justintuckrule says: Mar 25, 2014 11:46 AM

    Put 22 refs in a sky box, one dedicated to each player. If one commits a penalty, the ref clicks a button and a “red exclamation point” (like in Sims) appears above that players’ head. Each plays’ infractions are beamed down to a “hand held” to the one on-field ref. A computer program algorithm reconciles all of the penalties and tells the ref where to spot the ball and the down/distance.

    This is what this over-legislated league is coming to. If so, might as well come up with something that doesn’t make the game absolutely unwatchable with numerous flags, explanations, ref huddles, replays, etc. etc. This way…the game will actually flow. Unfortunately…all two fans that still go to stadiums anymore will absolutely be lost. Maybe in the future, a hologram will appear above the player so in-stadium fans can see all the penalties.

  22. thegonz13 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:50 AM

    Breaking news…

    The NFL has banned tackling altogether.

  23. bonerznpudz says: Mar 25, 2014 11:50 AM

    Wait until Bernard Pollard wakes up to this…

  24. hoopieguy says: Mar 25, 2014 11:52 AM

    It will be like pass interference. Either it won’t get called when it should, or it will get called when it shouldn’t. Way too subjective. How do you determine if it was willful or incidental? I agree with whoever said “break out the flags and be done with it”

  25. shayeezy says: Mar 25, 2014 11:56 AM

    looking at you, stevie johnson

  26. r8rsfan says: Mar 25, 2014 11:56 AM

    So there goes the zone blocking scheme?

  27. beach305 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:13 PM

    For all you who complain about this rule, understand that this is the new NFL, and not the one you grew up watching.

    People like Conrad Dobler, Jack Tatum, Ronnie Lott, etc. would have been banned for life or be heavily fined/suspended.

    Get use to PC words like “Bullying”

  28. bpayton52 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:14 PM

    there is nothing wrong with this rule…if you cant block someone without having to cut them down from the side you don’t deserve to be in the NFL. MAN UP!

  29. bpayton52 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:15 PM

    you can always cut block in front of the defender just can cheap shot him anymore

  30. cheapglazers says: Mar 25, 2014 12:23 PM

    Are they attaching flags to players’ waists yet?

  31. drdoom82 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:27 PM

    That Decastro block was the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

  32. themackstrong says: Mar 25, 2014 12:31 PM

    Wow I admit there were a couple of lineman blocks that looked bad and should have been illegal. One by Seahawks cut blocking Ian Williams from the 49ers. I think that is kind of a freak play because he disengaged from one blocking to be cut blocked a millisecond after causing an ankle injury. I could also look at 1000 blocks from the front and side that didn’t cause knee or ankle injury.

    Say goodbye to cut back lanes for running backs in zone blocking systems. Pair that with the fact that guys can’t be in pads a portion of the time for practices. NFL is going to look more pass happy than Arena Football and CFL which has 3 downs. If the kickoff is moved the the 40 yard line it can be announced “Football Is Dead”

  33. chiadam says: Mar 25, 2014 12:33 PM

    OK, I’m outta here.

    – Peyton Manning

  34. clssylssy says: Mar 25, 2014 1:00 PM

    They should put the owners in pads and make them play a few preseason games in which they had to win or forfeit their franchise…wonder how successful they would be at doing their assigned job effectively with all the rules that look good in theory only. Guys who have never played a down should not be making rules for guys who do; it is outside of their field of expertise!

  35. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 25, 2014 1:14 PM

    Way past due

  36. patsfan1820 says: Mar 25, 2014 1:21 PM

    This is a good rule it’s about time this happened.

  37. edman13 says: Mar 25, 2014 1:22 PM

    Amazing how clueless fans are on here. Denver hasn’t had a “zone” blocking scheme that included these types of blocks for at least 4 years. If you’re going to comment at least be relevant.

  38. wyntyrmute says: Mar 25, 2014 1:39 PM

    The Texans and Falcons are terrible about using that style of cut block.

    Glad to see this rule was so tired of hearing that a cut block from the front was legal.

  39. brasscop says: Mar 25, 2014 1:54 PM

    Go back and watch the 58′ Giants-Colts championship game; cut blocks, roll blocks, crab blocks, crackbacks, etc. “Greatest Game Ever Played.”

  40. realdealsteel says: Mar 25, 2014 2:00 PM

    How are the Ravens suppose to compete now that they can’t crack-back block at the legs anymore?

  41. aps110 says: Mar 25, 2014 2:08 PM

    So much for seattle’s and houstons running game, thats all they do

  42. tictoccpthook says: Mar 25, 2014 2:14 PM

    Good move. Keep our linemen healthy and the game will be better for it.

  43. baldbuc says: Mar 25, 2014 2:18 PM

    Not sure why all the comments about the Texans. Kubiak is now with the Ravens in case that memo hasn’t gone out. I doubt that Bill O’Brien sticks with Kubiak’s outdated scheme.

  44. icebowler says: Mar 25, 2014 2:18 PM

    Since the knee joint only bends one way, I would suspect that even more ligaments are torn when hit from the side than from the back, so this makes some sense.

  45. dobe420 says: Mar 25, 2014 2:19 PM

    Jared Allen did this to Lance Louis a couple of years ago. This rule should go both ways, not just for defense players.

  46. zeke2517 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:00 PM

    In a few years we’ll be reading about the new rules regarding the correct procedure for removing the flag from the ball carrier.

  47. Moudabo says: Mar 25, 2014 3:49 PM

    I say it’s about damn time!

    But what does this rule change mean for cut blocks and zone blocking schemes ?

  48. winged warrior says: Mar 25, 2014 4:03 PM

    i don’t fell so bad about giving up my tickets any more. it’s not the same game i grew up with .
    concrete charlie bednarik wadda been banned for life for hitting frank gifford if that game were played now.

  49. bspurloc says: Mar 25, 2014 4:21 PM

    I think he meant to say…
    like Defensive players were told to hit lower instead to the head but lower into the Knee…
    Where offensive players are now being told hit higher, like to the head.

  50. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 25, 2014 4:27 PM

    “Its about time!”

    -Brian Cushing

  51. normswifevera says: Mar 25, 2014 4:56 PM

    “They should call it the Cushing Rule- two years in a row his season is cut short by a dirty play.”

    There is nothing illegal about a RB directly in front of an LB going low to block him, which is exactly what happened to Cushing in 2013. This rule would have done nothing to prevent it as it wasn’t from the side or the back.

  52. richardmswartz says: Mar 25, 2014 6:52 PM

    This rule does little to nothing in terms of negating zone blocking. This is clearly a good rule unlike that whole no dunking the ball through the uprights thing.

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