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.

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

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

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

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

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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”

  9. 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”

  10. 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!

  11. 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”

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. I say it’s about damn time!

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. “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.

  23. 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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