NFL to discuss expanded protections for quarterbacks


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.

45 responses to “NFL to discuss expanded protections for quarterbacks

  1. NFL SOLUTION #1: 13 players on offense (two more o-line men)

    NFL SOLUTION #2: Defensive players must wear blindfolds

    NFL SOLUTION #3: Lower salary cap and salaries

  2. Just put the red jerseys on them during the game. Injuries happen, going to extremes to protect the QB will change the game a lot more than a few injuries.

  3. The opposing team’s quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard. I still believe that. However, if you are going to change the rules (and it sounds like they are) make it simple and say where the defense CAN hit the QB, rather than where they can’t hit the QB. It makes it clear and easy for the defense and the fans. (Only the torso? Okay. Only above the belt and below the neckline. Okay.) Just make it simple.

  4. Stop changing the rules please. The game is a contact sport. Injuries happen. If they want to make the game safer then hammer the headhunters and remove them. If a guy intentionally tries to injure another player he should be ejected and face suspension

  5. Just go ahead and change the rules so that it is illegal to hit the QB… period.

    And put skirts on ’em too, while you’re at it.

  6. i was wondering how long it’d take the premiere diva ShAaron to cry enough to the NFL office and we would see this type of article.
    Congrats, #12. now, wipe those tears away from chinless cutlers face as well.

  7. This is ridiculous. Both QB’s were injured as part of normal play, not illegal or necessarily rough hits. At some point the NFL has to inform QB’s that they are also responsible for their own safety. They can always throw the ball away or just go down rather than be tackled.

  8. New rule:

    1. No one is allowed by Jay Cutlers groin.

    Seriously, no more changes, to protect the QB. Or just stop allowing them to run and call the game chess or something else.

  9. Take all protective equipment off the QB and attach sack flags. this will eliminate him from running and remove all restrictions so that he can throw the ball 80 yds. this will result in no Prima Donna injuries and continue to add more offense for the people who don’t actually LIKE THE GAME OF FOOTBALL.

  10. There’s an easy fix that accomplishes this goal and removes all possibility of interpretative problems or inconsistency. It is this:

    Don’t allow anyone to rush the QB. Ever. Penalize the defense if any defensive player goes more than 1 yard behind the LOS.

    Sure, it makes FB a virtual video game instead of the game that was played until about a decade ago, but isn’t that what most fantsay players want?

  11. Dear NFL Rules Committee:

    NO more rules to protect the QB! They already wear a skirt and its easy to get penalized if you as much as breathe on them!

    Instead, you should be working on subtracting or simplifying rules to make it easier for the officials to do their job!!

  12. how about a bright orange flag that an opponent just pulls off to get you down instead of tackling him? yeah, that would work, then nobody gets hurt!

  13. Hopefully none of the rule changes will involve TuTus or defensive players counting ‘one Mississippi, two Mississippi …’

  14. Just put skirts on all QB’s and make them wear flags. I hate their taking all the toughness out of football. In the next 5-10 years this game will be unwatchable.

  15. They could start with a noticeable and deterring fine amount. Right now I think you make more money to injure QBs in salary increases to more than make up for those fines. The more QBs you can injure, the more you are likely to make.

  16. Here’s an idea… How about teams pay more attention to protecting their own assets? Teams send QBs out there behind awful o-lines… QBs hold the ball forever trying to make plays… Teams design offenses around QB mobility…

  17. Please, no more changes. This is already barely the game I grew up with in the early 80’s….enough already. It’s a brutal game where injuries will always occur…and the men who play the game know this and accept it. Where are we trying to go at this point? The game is what it is.

  18. Just make it 2 hand touch on the qb already. They’ve been gearing the rules toward that eventuality for the last decade. Please do it already so I can finally stop watching and make better use of my Sundays. This league blows.

  19. Is it just me?

    It seems in this new league filled with rules to protect the QB, we sure seem to have a lot of injured QBs this season.

    Maybe you should be trying to balance the over all game, stop slanting it towards high score offenses and focus on ALL players safety.

  20. correct me if im wrong but arent QB men too….dont they put on there pants one leg at a time just as we all….what more do they want from the defense you cant hit anybody anywhere or you will get flagged…A running back gets hit just about every play of the game on offense, their shelf life is abbout 8 or 9 years and they dont even have this many rules…these new rules are ruining the game you dont wanna get hurt you better run….protect the qb keep him for 15-20 years but let the running back take his lumps and leave before 10….if you cant/arent going to protect one group you should go out your way to protect another…

  21. More protection? Its already illegal to hit a quarterback who is in the field of play but heading out of bounds. Get it over with and put flags on them.

  22. Absolutely ridiculous , they may as well be wearing flags now what more could they possibly do aside from body armor?

  23. Here’s the reality — It’s a dangerous position to play. QBs usually take some hard hits, sometimes coming from the blind side, while they stand there unaware. There’s only so much you can do to protect them before it becomes two-hand touch. Besides, not all of the QBs on IR are there because of dangerous hits. Hoyer’s knee injury was self-inflicted by a bad slide, and Kolb’s concussion was inadvertent (bumped in the helmet as he was sliding).

  24. The first problem, don’t put someone in charge of officiating (Blandino) that, I would guess, never played the game.

    Second, let’s just drop all pretense. The Quarterback can never, ever, be touched.

    I’ll soon be switching to exclusively, Division 1.

  25. Put flags on them!! This game is way to dangerous and we need to do everything to protect the players health and well being. I just hate watching those old NFL Films highlights where the pass rusher would be the OT and come around for a big sack. It’s just so scary to think the QB might be hurt.

    Flags or red button that when its pressed it means the QB is sacked.

  26. “A native of Bellmore, N.Y., Blandino has spent his entire professional career in football officiating. After graduating in 1993 from Hofstra University, Blandino joined the NFL for the 1994 season as an officiating intern. Following the 1994 season, he was hired full-time as an officiating video assistant and then was promoted to special projects coordinator.”

    More info shows he played a little in high school, but that’s it. This guy will one day be Commissioner and also the person most responsible for ruining the game of pro football.

  27. Too much. I’m in favor of protections while they’re in the pocket, but when they cross the line of scrimmage they should be fair game.
    After contemplating it for years – the slide rule after a run is ridiculous. If you’re afraid to get hit, go down in the pocket. Don’t run.

  28. “A native of Bellmore, N.Y., Blandino has spent his entire professional career in football officiating. After graduating in 1993 from Hofstra University, Blandino joined the NFL for the 1994 season as an officiating intern. Following the 1994 season, he was hired full-time as an officiating video assistant and then was promoted to special projects coordinator.”

    More info shows he played a little in high school, but that’s it. This guy will one day be Commissioner and also the person most responsible for ruining the game of pro football.


    I grew up in a town next to Bellmore, NY, and, no, he doesn’t get the home discount from me. I think this is ridiculous, with MORE rule changes for QBs. I’ve seen many clean hits this season, whether they were sanctioned as sacks or knock downs, on QBs that were flagged for roughing.

    What’s dictating these rule changes is not safety or concussions or concussion lawsuits; it’s money. No one wants to watch a game with backups. That can affect the NFL’s bottom line. It wasn’t as important many years ago because the NFL wasn’t making money, hand-over-fist, the way they are now.

  29. Is it just me, or should the picture accompanying this article have a picture of the team leading the NFL in sacks (Kansas City) practicing its art, rather than the team ranked 29th in the league in sacks?

  30. Just release all the players & put the Cheerleaders on the field. wait, 1 might fall & hurt herself so we can’t have that. I guess we”ll just have to end the game & start watching something more interesting.

  31. Bring back the old “In the grasp” rule. I remember a season or two when the QB was deemed down if a defender got ahold of him. He did not have to be driven to the turf to be considered down.

    That will protect the QB, but it will take something away from the game. Namely, competetive spirit. QBs play an exciting role in football. Some are eleusive in the pocket, while others work from the pocket and do some things that fans love.

    The QB needs to adjust his own game in order to not take as severe of hits as we see in games. Learn to throw the ball away, or get out of the pocket.

    If anything might help, eliminate the rule where it is a penalty to intentionally ground the football. If a QB sees he may get smashed in the mouth, he can throw the ball at his own feet if he wants, no penalty. That will keep him from taking shots that are worrisome to those in charge of player safety. It is still a win for the D. QB throws an incomplete pass and wasted a down. The NFL doesn’t even have to give me credit, just do it.

  32. The effeminization of the NFL continues.

    In the not too distant past, the NFL has made rules for Peyton Manning (2004 – illegal contact penalty), Palmer (2006 ), and Brady (2009) that have all eroded the integrity of the game. We are seeing way too much arena league scoring and the disparity between rushing and passing is so bad that the Dolphins had only 2 rushing yds last Monday…. 2!!!! Dallas had only 9 rushing attempts in week 9…. 9!!!!

    The NFL rule changes to accommodate the QB position have diminished the passion in many fans and continues to minimalize the role of defense in games.

    “They should just put a skirt on the quarterback,” Jack Lambert , LB, PIT

    and an NFL player bullied? Put a skirt on him too!

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