Helmet rule could be tabled until May


Owners opted on Tuesday to defer consideration of the latest rule aimed at reducing concussions until Wednesday.  On Wednesday, they may defer it until their next round of meetings.

The buzz in Phoenix currently points to a tabling of the proposed rule outlawing the ramming of an opponent in the open field with the crown of the helmet.

On Monday, there was no sense of opposition to the proposal from the teams — even though some players have expressed misgivings.  By Tuesday, coaches began to express concern.

Since then, multiple sources have indicated that the opposition is more widespread than expected, which could result in the league office delaying a vote pending an effort to ensure that at least 24 of the 32 owners will vote in favor of the proposed rule.  And, if sufficient support can’t be mustered, the measure could suffer the same fate as plenty of others that have been tabled to May.

In other words, the proposal could be tabled indefinitely.

26 responses to “Helmet rule could be tabled until May

  1. Think of the fantasy football implications for RBs… No more drafting Lynch or T-Rich in the early rounds since they do this every game… This rule is STUPID! The players get paid millions to play and no one forces them to play! If they thought it was unsafe then I don’t think they would risk their lives but then again the stereotype for Jocks is to be not very intelligent. Players have been lowering their heads for DECADES! Why change it now? Stop ruining the NFL GooDOUCHE!!!

  2. Who thought up this stupid rule? Every running back at every level knows there is some knuckle-dragging mouth-breather out there trying to dismantle them…so they shouldn’t duck the punch?
    “Hey cyclops, I’m keeping my head up so you can deliver a `legal` shot at my chin under my facemask…the league says it’s for player safety.”
    Good grief, the lawyers won’t rest until they get pink leotards on all players.

  3. Sure. Delay it so there’s enough time to create more hysteria and hopefully change a few minds eh? Wouldn’t want to have people vote before tainting their opinions. “We have to pass the bill before we can find out what’s in it”.

  4. I love that owners who, the majority of, have never played the game are responsible for setting the rules. Makes sense.

  5. Helmet rule needs to be tabled permanently.A lot of great runs from some great running backs in NFL history would have been called back.Larry Czonka,Earl Campbell and Christian Okoye are just a small example of running backs this rule would have affected.
    Referees would also have problems with this.What would be a penalty to one might not look like a penalty to another.
    Here is the solution.Take a tackling dummy and motorize it.Put an area on it to hold a football and use it in place of running backs.This way nobody gets hurt.

  6. NO!! That rule was the perfect Segway into next year’s new rule change: no more swear words or put-downs!

  7. Let’s just drop it all together. Someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed. One of the dumbest rules I have ever seen.

  8. What if the player was pushed forward? Or was falling forward? Where is the intent?

    So this applies to anyone with the ball? A DB who just intercepted the ball can’t do it either… right?

    Heck, they can’t get pass interference consistently wrong or right; how in the heck are they going to get this right?

  9. It would be impossible to enforce that rule effectively and it puts the outcome of games more in the hands of refs. If they want to do something effective then make players buckle their chin straps and make them wear mouth guards. Most players seem to loosely fit their helmets on with the one strap deal. Certain studies show that both of those things help prevent concussions, it is easy to enforce, and they already enforce it on the high school level.

  10. When Trent Richardson hit Coleman, Coleman’s helmet was literally half way off before TR hit him. Coleman also only had one chin strap buckled. Had his helemt been properly fitted that highlight reel would not exist. Buckle your chin straps!

  11. Let’s hope so. It’s a bad rule based on fear created by the lawyers.

    If the NFL really wants to be obsolved of liability from former players, they need to come up with a waiver that every player must sign in order to play. Something that they acknowledge they read, acknowledge they understand, and acknowledge that they personally, assume all risk of playing.

    Then the players (not the union, but a select group of players) need to be on the competition and rules committee with full voting rights and they can exercise their rights to change or leave any new safety rule.

  12. its a collision sport,when it is no longer tackle football after being a season ticket holder for 27 years I will no longer attend games ….I doubt I am the only one fan and I am willing to bet a lot of the players cannot be happy about this rule,too much money to pay to see flag football

  13. “Helmet rule could be tabled until May” in some future as-of-yet undetermined year.

    This is really starting to get silly. I heard an interview with an owner at the owners meeting who said they watched clips and unless someone told them what was legal and what wasn’t they were only about 50% right which is the same a complete guess. Apparently the refs said they could make it work. Right….sure they can.

  14. Can we please get people in charge that are about keeping the integrity of the game and not pursued by the almighty dollar?

  15. I really dont understand this out cry from RB’s current and past.

    The league took care of the offense. Flagging defenders for helmet to helmets initiated by the offense lowering their helmets.

    The rule isnt asking players to run straight up, or even not to lower their heads.

    SPEARING IS ILLEGAL.. if you dip the crown of your helmet, you are SPEARING.
    You can dip you head and deliver a shot without SPEARING..
    if you keep your eyes on the chest of the opponent, their is no way you can be flagged or fined.
    the face mask and chest are the weapons.

    rbs SPEARING will lead to increased concussions (westbrook) and even paralyzation.
    Stop whining, we are trying to help.

  16. It’s one thing to be running with your head down, like a plunge at the goal-line.

    But it’s another to intentionally lower your helmet and use it as weapon just before initiating contact. Ever since players discovered “Hey this helmet, it’s pretty tough, I can use this like a battering ram.” they’ve done exactly that.

    Coaches have taught “Stick your helmet on the ball, hit [not tackle] ’em, and knock the ball loose.”

    We’ve seen multiple examples of defensive players coming in, and at the last second drop their heads for a hard hit [again, not tackle].

    As fans we’ve applauded the hard hits. Coaches have emphasized hitting over tackling.. all to create the all mighty turnover.

  17. It is looking like a lot more golf and fishing is coming into view and a lot less football.

    Go ahead NFL…keep messing around and push us out the door.

  18. Look fellows(NFL owners) some of you business type might not understand the principals of football. They are tackling, blocking, running a football as fast as you can, we call offense, in order to score a touch down which wins football games and puts millions of dollars in your pockets and makes our pockets empty. Anyhow, violent collisions happen as a result of running a football as fast as you can. See, on the other side of the football, we call defensive players are attempting to tackle the man running the ball as fast as he can, and in the process of tackling some defenders and offensive players collide with helmets sometimes, not very often, the man running the ball as fast as he can gets injured either by tearing his ACL, MCL, or gets a brain concussion , or maybe just a mussel bruooose. See NFL owners theres a down side to football called injuries that “just happen” like sh** it sometimes happens. Now wasn’t that fun? EEeeegads,,,,My 4 yr old grandson has better sense.

  19. A follow up, if you will. A lot of players these days have very long hair thats woven into some kind of ball worn on the back of the head. In order to get their helmets to fit over the woven ball they get a larger helmet which doesn’t fit. When these players either get hit or does the hitting their helmets go flying off. Ive seen this happen at least once almost every game and the officials haven’t done anything about these helmets coming off. I know the officials have to stop play when a helmet comes off but to often they come off while tackling which ends the play. NFL make sure the players helmets fit, this is something that can be done and makes more sense then this silly rule which would give the NFL a concussion.

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