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NFL will consider another chop block rule

Walt Coleman AP

Although rules changes to restrict helmet-to-helmet hits have drawn more attention, the NFL has also in recent years increasingly restricted low blocks, in an attempt to protect players’ knees. And another rule may be coming this offseason.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL’s Competition Committee is considering a rule that would eliminate the chop block.

It’s unclear precisely how the new rule would be worded. Last year the league voted to further restrict chop blocks by making it illegal for a running back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the tackle box.

Chop blocks are still legal in certain situations in line play, and the NFL could eliminate those situations. Some defensive players have argued that the league needs to go further and ban all low blocks. The Competition Committee will need to come up with the precise wording of a new rule designed to give greater protection to defensive players’ knees, and then the league’s owners will vote on the proposal. Given the league’s emphasis on player safety, it’s likely that any proposal will be approved by the owners.

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22 Responses to “NFL will consider another chop block rule”
  1. 1wildfan1 says: Feb 29, 2016 7:44 AM

    Should just have them wear skirts, and no hitting below the lace waistband.

  2. dg0122 says: Feb 29, 2016 7:50 AM

    You mean a cut block, a chop block is one guy high and one guy low.

  3. floratiotime says: Feb 29, 2016 7:55 AM

    I think all blocks should be made illegal. Let’s kill the game dead.

  4. mongo3401 says: Feb 29, 2016 8:05 AM

    Meanwhile defensive linemen are allowed to act like animals from hell. Refs still called chop blocks that weren’t chop blocks last yearn should be a challengable call. Refs have too much power

  5. intrafinesse says: Feb 29, 2016 8:20 AM

    If all low blocks are banned, then how does a running back protect a QB from a blitzing DLineman?

  6. intrafinesse says: Feb 29, 2016 8:22 AM

    If a running back can’t stop a blitzer, might this not lead to more hard QB hits, resulting in QB injuries?

  7. Mo Pro Babble says: Feb 29, 2016 8:29 AM

    The quality of play is being lowered by kneecapping blocks. How many players never had a chance at greatness due to this type of block altering their career path?

    They are people, not gladiators. I know, it’s fun to sit in the comfort of your living room while young men are dealt blows that may cripple them for life. Says a lot about those who would thumbs down an attempt at keeping these guys on the field.

    On the other hand, player turnover gives others a chance at greatness. Bledsoe Brady being one example, but that was a legal hit.

  8. flash1287 says: Feb 29, 2016 8:30 AM

    Good should have happened already

    Now we can get all the comments from the “old school” people telling us how they are “hurting the game of football”

  9. hyprcaffeinated says: Feb 29, 2016 8:43 AM

    Call it, the running game elimination rule of 2016.

  10. celticsforever says: Feb 29, 2016 8:45 AM

    Can’t hit high. Can hit low. Flag football. Welcome to the NFFL.

  11. bunglesandbears says: Feb 29, 2016 8:58 AM

    Simple – ban all blocks and tackles below the thigh.

    Ask Tony Gonzalez – ‘I’d rather you in me in my head than my knees.’

  12. raidernation37 says: Feb 29, 2016 9:08 AM

    Maybe they could determine what a catch is first

  13. bassplucker says: Feb 29, 2016 9:32 AM

    So basically they are eliminating the running game one rule change at a time.

  14. bassplucker says: Feb 29, 2016 9:33 AM

    So much for zone blocking schemes.

  15. flankerright says: Feb 29, 2016 10:18 AM

    Having played both sides of the ball in High School and suffering an ACL injury from a cut block, I say get rid of the cut block, o-linemen just need to get stronger…

  16. grumpyoleman says: Feb 29, 2016 12:43 PM

    Just another penalty to be called on the Lions when no infraction actually occurred.

  17. truckinmack says: Feb 29, 2016 1:00 PM

    Why do ball carriers get to grab the facemask of the defender? If grabbing a facemask is inherently dangerous, shouldn’t nobody be allowed to touch a facemask?

    As for ‘warding off a defender’ by simply pushing on a facemask, I say bull snot. Time after time a ball carrier’s fingers are inside a defenders facemask thoroughly controlling that defender’s head and neck.

    I don’t know why defenders are not suing the NFL for putting their health and safety at risk.

  18. torebear says: Feb 29, 2016 2:19 PM

    I hope they make it reviewable. The Lions received a phantom call against the Rams that turned 1st and goal at the 2 to 3 and 15 or something from own 40.

    Clear as day the blocked player was not engaged by anyone but the RB when they played it back.

  19. CannedHeat says: Feb 29, 2016 3:47 PM

    NFHS (ruling body for most of the nation in HS football) just made “clipping” in the free blocking zone illegal a few weeks ago. It rarely happens there, but this is the first piece of the puzzle which I believe will make every low block illegal anywhere on the field at every level in the next 5-7 years, IMO.

    All other legal low blocks will remain this year, my guess is they will be done away with in the next 2 to 3 years at the HS level.

  20. CannedHeat says: Feb 29, 2016 3:50 PM

    torebear says:
    Feb 29, 2016 2:19 PM

    I hope they make it reviewable. The Lions received a phantom call against the Rams that turned 1st and goal at the 2 to 3 and 15 or something from own 40.

    Clear as day the blocked player was not engaged by anyone but the RB when they played it back.
    _________________________________

    If it was a crack-back block…which was deemed illegal in 2012 in the NFL, being engaged with anyone is irrelevant. Not sure which one you are referring…just an FYI.

  21. torebear says: Feb 29, 2016 4:47 PM

    @CannedHeat It was the penalty that was new last year:

    “illegal for a running back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the tackle box”

    The problem in the game was there was no offensive player engaging the defender. Only the RB.

    The ref saw something that wasn’t there. Something a quick replay would have cleared up in two seconds.

  22. youknowiknowitall says: Feb 29, 2016 6:00 PM

    To be referred to as the “Broncos Cheap Shot Rule”

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