The Associated Press recently reported that quarterbacks could get additional protections. So what new protections could be applied?
Per a league source, there are at least two possibilities for future discussion by the Competition Committee.
First, quarterbacks could be protected against low hits even after they exit the pocket. Currently, the ban on hits at or below the knee disappears when the quarterback abandons the pocket.
Second, quarterbacks in the pocket area could be protected during and after the handoff. Currently, the pocket protections don’t apply until the quarterback assumes a passing posture. The ban on high hits and low hits could extend to quarterbacks who are in the process of handing the ball off, and who have handed off.
These are simply possibilities that the Competition Committee could discuss. Based on quarterback injury data, the Competition Committee could decide to make no changes.
Regardless, the league has a strong incentive to protect quarterbacks. While the “next man up” concept works for most positions, the NFL doesn’t enjoy an abundance of high-quality quarterbacks. If more than a few suffer significant injuries, the quality of game play can quickly suffer.