NFL passes five player safety rules

AP

The NFL continues to add rules designed to make the game safer.

At today’s league meeting, the owners approved five rules proposals, all of which had been suggested to make the game safer. The five new rules are:

1. Bans defensive players from pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage when the offense is in punt formation. (This rule already exists for situations when the offense is in field goal or extra point formation.)

2. Prohibits all offensive players from engaging in peel back blocks.

3. Gives receivers defenseless player protection when a pass is intercepted.

4. Makes it illegal for a running back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the tackle box.

5. Allows an injury spotter to stop the game if a player appears to have suffered a brain injury.

None of those rules will make a major difference to the game on the field. Fans might not even notice them. But if they make the game safer, approving them was an easy call.

83 responses to “NFL passes five player safety rules

  1. So your saying this years superbowl will be stopped if JE clearly has a concussion.

    Same for Rodgers like in this years Packer/Pats game. He bashed his head off the turf and played like a third stringer the rest of the game.

    I think it would be better to have the impact sensor in the helmet and have players that received above X amount of force to the head be required to leave the field.

  2. I read the headline thinking they’d decided it’d be safer to play 5-on-5. Guess they’ll wait until next season for that one.

  3. 3. Gives receivers defenseless player protection when a pass is intercepted.

    I thought this one was to give defenders the defenseless receiver protections during an interception. Was it to give the receivers additional protection instead?

  4. Love how most are calling the injury spotter rule the “Julien Edelman” rule. Completely ignoring how a “concussed” Edelman was making huge plays later in that drive and catching the game winning TD the next drive… while two weeks earlier Clay Matthews almost killed Russell Wilson, who then proceeded to zone out for 2 hours and throw 4 picks? Yep… it’s always those Patriots trying to get away with something…

  5. I know old people hate change but here are your choices- make football safer or make football go away. Stuff changes. The world isn’t like it was when you were a kid. Quit crying and get over it.

  6. They need to make these changes to try to make the game safer for the players. All of you armchair QBs with your “wear a dress” and “sissification” comments fail to see the big picture.

    I don’t mind a delay here and there if it helps to reduce the inherent danger of the sport.

  7. Rule #6: Each team has to have a motherly figure on the sidelines to kiss the players boo-boos.

  8. 3. Gives receivers defenseless player protection when a pass is intercepted.

    I thought this one was to give defenders the defenseless receiver protections during an interception. Was it to give the receivers additional protection instead?

    Yes, have you ever seen a receiver watching for the ball to have it intercepted and not paying attention to the DB coming full speed at him

  9. idolized1 says:
    Mar 24, 2015 3:19 PM

    Ah yes, more rule changes.

    And then more next year, and the year after, and then after….

    Whatever.

    I hear hockey is a good sport.
    —————————————————–
    You heard correctly.

  10. I love how everyone is concerned about Edelman being concussed but no one mentions the fact that Chancellor wasn’t penalized (was he even fined?) for the hit.

    Meanwhile we will continue to throw flags & penalize defensive players 15 yards for making legal hits that look bad because we want to err on the side of safety without even giving the defender the benefit of a review, just so we don’t slow the game down a little bit.

  11. Who will be the “injury spotter?” Another NFL official in the booth? The home team’s appointed doctor? A league-appointed doctor? An EMT with an over-active imagination?

    Just imagine what games will be like every time this “injury spotter” “sees” a hard hit. NFL games will be as long as MLB games.

    What a mess.

  12. On the contrary, #5 has the potential to significantly impact not only the rhythm of the game, but the outcome in total.

  13. 5. Allows an injury spotter to stop the game if a player appears to have suffered a brain injury.

    Soooo..what’s that look like? Spotter notices birdies and stars circling the players head while the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies plays?

  14. Oh my. All these poor put-upon fans who won’t see the murder and mayhem anymore that passed for football.

    How Sad. How disappointing! Whatever will you do on Sundays!

  15. “I love how everyone is concerned about Edelman being concussed but no one mentions the fact that Chancellor wasn’t penalized (was he even fined?) for the hit”….

    Well, considering the hit was a perfectly LEGAL shot to the shoulder, why would he have been penalized or fined?

  16. 3. Gives receivers defenseless player protection when a pass is intercepted

    ——-
    Over/under to when officials are going to use this to overturn an interception based on a so-so or clearly clean hit begin at week four.

  17. “None of those rules will make a major difference to the game on the field. Fans might not even notice them.”

    Exactly. As a fan, I never noticed when penalties were called. That doesn’t change the game at all.

  18. An injury spotter will stop the game whenever a player appears to be severely or even significantly injured.

    I realize this is supposed to happen already with the on field refs, so having someone up in the box reviewing injuries on a TV kind of makes sense.

    It shouldn’t result in more cheating, because the ‘faking it’ players don’t try to hide their injuries. They lay down on the field and appear to be having a heart attack, stroke, seizure or at least a broken leg.

    The spotters will be looking for an actual injured player who nobody realizes is injured.

  19. It’s like getting extra time outs… Send in your 4th receiver or 3rd TE have him flop and bingo free time out. Every team will do this and no one will care … The first time the Patriots do it Thay will change it back.

  20. so defenders have to let a 4.4 WR run free to make the play??

    this is getting out of control.

    Did godel ever play ball?

  21. No peel back blocks??? So if the qb decides to run should downfield receivers just take a knee and declare themselves out of the play? Good luck to any team that likes read option. Yet another move towards powderpuff football…

  22. In the interest of player safety here are the five rules they SHOULD have passed:
    1) No expansion to an 18 game season. More games increases likelihood of injuries
    2) No more games in London. Jet lag increases mental fatigue which affects judgement and could lead to mental mistakes which could cause injury.
    3) No expansion of the playoffs, more playoff games…more chances for injuries
    4) No expansion of the league. Adding teams dilutes the talent pool which could lead to players of inferior talent being injured unnecessarily. And it also adds more games, more games…more injuries.
    5) No more Veterans Combine. These workouts have the potential to cause injury. If any of these players were good enough, they would already be on a roster.

  23. Lots of stupid people here that think their entertainment should come before Ayer safety. Lots of stupid and I’m guessing fat bozos that have no real experience with sports except watching sucking on their Doritos and beer and trying to get out of their chairs to waddle to the can occasionally.

  24. rdubluv12 says: Mar 24, 2015 3:54 PM

    “I love how everyone is concerned about Edelman being concussed but no one mentions the fact that Chancellor wasn’t penalized (was he even fined?) for the hit”….

    Well, considering the hit was a perfectly LEGAL shot to the shoulder, why would he have been penalized or fined?

    ———-

    Well that “shoulder hit” really rung his bell…

  25. Just expand the width of the field 5 or 10 yards and eliminate the safety from hitting a “defenseless” receiver. The ability and speed of the game has made the field’s dimensions obsolete.

  26. cfeeley52 says:
    Mar 24, 2015 4:24 PM
    No peel back blocks??? So if the qb decides to run should downfield receivers just take a knee and declare themselves out of the play? Good luck to any team that likes read option. Yet another move towards powderpuff football
    ————
    Huh? Did you mean the rule that outlaws running backs going knee diving on engaged defenders outside the tackle box? Cause, THAT rule change is actually a good idea. I don’t see anything that’d prevent a running back from staying upright and engaging the defender above the waist.

  27. I’m OK with most of the rules but the first time we see a player pop right back up after a head injury stopped a play going against them, you will hear some serious blow back from the fans.

  28. The only stupid people are those who keep whining about making the game safer. Do you believe players don’t know and accept the risks of playing football?

    These rules don’t make the game any safer, they are do nothing rules designed to make idiots like you think the game is safer. you CANNOT take a game that has 300lb men slamming into each other and make it safer without removing the collisions.

    They are paid VERY WELL to accept these risks, stop whining.

  29. The peelback block sprung big plays. It was one of the more exciting plays in football, right up there with how they used to knock the ball loose or return kickoffs.

  30. For all you posters saying it just making the game more safe, let me ask you, do you get payed 10-100 million for 5 years of work? I know I sure as hell don’t. For that kind of money the players should except the dangers of the game. I’m not big enough (150#) and I’m to old (49) to play football but if someone was willing to pay me that kind of money I’d strap my old ass into a NASCAR car, Indy car or a top fuel dragster. If I should kill myself I knew the danger going in, but was willing to do so for the opportunity to make enough money to change my and my family’s lives.

  31. First the machinist inspired rule change
    Now
    The edelman inspired rule change
    Just stop hating the patriots

    And why should someone far in the stands be able to order a player off the field
    Just bs

  32. Glad to see everybody is still making up Patriots controversies…BTW, Edelman got up and ran another 20 yards after he supposedly got “concussed”.

  33. NFL talks the talk with regards to player safety, but doesn’t walk the walk. How about eliminating the chop block altogether? Cheapest form of blocking out there.

  34. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t play football. If you don’t want the chance of getting shot, don’t be a cop or join the military. It’s your choice. Hard hits are a part of football, chances of getting shot is a part of being a police officer or in the military, again, it’s your choice.

  35. The spotter rule is a travesty and will feed conspiracy theorists until it goes away like a bad dream.

  36. How about some simple rules that will ACTUALLY make the game safer:
    1. Make mouthpieces mandatory- they reduce the risk of concussions period.
    2. Require knee pads- an unpadded knee to the helmet will concuss you. This won’t eliminate all the knee to head injuries but it will help.
    3. Allow players to choose their own helmets- currently if a co. wants to provide helmets they have to pay 2 million to the NFL in licensing fees. There are several companies producing helmets for military that reduce head trauma but these cos. won’t / can’t afford licensing in the NFL. Set a standard and let anyone supply. Competition never hurt anyone.

  37. 3. Allow players to choose their own helmets- currently if a co. wants to provide helmets they have to pay 2 million to the NFL in licensing fees. There are several companies producing helmets for military that reduce head trauma but these cos. won’t / can’t afford licensing in the NFL. Set a standard and let anyone supply. Competition never hurt anyone.

    I completely agree. However, you would have to break the decades old, good ole boy relationship that the league has with Riddell.

  38. To trolls –

    What part of the game needs to be made “safer” do you not understand? If you don’t like the changes you have options….don’t watch.

  39. quinzze says:
    Mar 24, 2015 4:18 PM

    … The first time the Patriots do it Thay will change it back.

    —————————–

    But first … fans of all other teams will be outraged, claim that only NE has ever done it and has been getting away with it for years, the NFL will legitimize their nonsense and launch a full-blown witch hunt (and, of course, find no wrong doing), the outraged fans will claim that Kraft paid off his boy Goodell to sweep it under the rug, they will insist (again to no avail) on having asterisks attached to each and every one of NE’s accomplishments since the beginning of time, Harbaugh will cry until he gets the rule changed and then …

    NE will win the SB again.

  40. jimmysee says:
    Mar 24, 2015 3:48 PM

    Oh my. All these poor put-upon fans who won’t see the murder and mayhem anymore that passed for football.

    How Sad. How disappointing! Whatever will you do on Sundays
    ———————————————————-
    You must hate that figure skating season is over.

  41. skawh says:
    Mar 24, 2015 6:50 PM

    To trolls –

    What part of the game needs to be made “safer” do you not understand? If you don’t like the changes you have options….don’t watch.
    ———————————————————-
    Well for starters the game would be a lot safer if not for cheatin, head hunting players like your boy Chancellor. This just in, Pat’s still SB champs, Seahawks blow biggest lead ever.

  42. snapcracklepopfart says:
    Mar 24, 2015 3:23 PM
    I know old people hate change but here are your choices- make football safer or make football go away. Stuff changes. The world isn’t like it was when you were a kid. Quit crying and get over it.
    ——————————————————————–
    As a teenager, my daughter was fond of telling us “things are different now”. Once she became an adult, that tune changed pretty quickly.

    I wish your parents all the luck with you. Now go do your homework before mom calls you for supper.

  43. All these guys have to do to be SAFER on the field is STOP using the helmet as a WEAPON ala James Harrison. Fundamental TACKLING does not require launching the body at somebody, it’s always been called WRAPPING UP the ball carrier. These guys don’t want to actually TACKLE, they want to use brute force of violent hit to knock players down instead of just tackling the ball carrier. This got started back many years ago by the players themselves and the NFL championed it as a marketing ploy to build those bankrolls. GO BACK TO FUNDAMENTAL FOOTBALL, even if that means taking the face-masks off! That’ll stop even the toughest kamikaze playing defense.

  44. nepatssbchamps says:
    Mar 24, 2015 3:17 PM
    Love how most are calling the injury spotter rule the “Julien Edelman” rule. Completely ignoring how a “concussed” Edelman was making huge plays later in that drive and catching the game winning TD the next drive… while two weeks earlier Clay Matthews almost killed Russell Wilson, who then proceeded to zone out for 2 hours and throw 4 picks? Yep… it’s always those Patriots trying to get away with something…
    __________________

    Russell got up and walked to the huddle with no trouble, while Edelman clearly was laboring for a minute after the hit.

  45. Yup, all the keyboard tough guys, who never had more than a nerf helmet on their head, are mad about the integrity of the game. All they care about is the violence, beer, chicken wings and their stupid fantasy team. Meanwhile, players die young, lose their marbles or can’t even walk when they pass 50. …and the horse you rode in on.

  46. I was listening to Steve Young on ESPN. Like someone else posted. The problem is the game is to fast these days. He pointed out how CB aren’t allowed to grab, jam, and push the Receivers off their routs as they used to do back in the 80’s and early 90’s.The CB literally can not put a hand on a Receiver. Hens, makes the speed of the game much faster and causes devastating collisions. But the League wants more scoring, for some reason? Makes sense to me? Especially coming from Steve Young.The more they legislate these rules into the game! They make the game more dangerous then ever before! Instead of slowing the game down? But no, with these new rules they are speeding it up! ( If your driving your car doing 30 and hit a pole?) You will prob live? ( If you’re driving and hit a pole doing 50 or 60? ) Odds are your not walking away from the wreck! PS, He’s right,,, Hockey is a great sport.

  47. shavager says: Mar 24, 2015 8:39 PM

    All these guys have to do to be SAFER on the field is STOP using the helmet as a WEAPON ala James Harrison. Fundamental TACKLING does not require launching the body at somebody, it’s always been called WRAPPING UP the ball carrier. These guys don’t want to actually TACKLE, they want to use brute force of violent hit to knock players down instead of just tackling the ball carrier. This got started back many years ago by the players themselves and the NFL championed it as a marketing ploy to build those bankrolls. GO BACK TO FUNDAMENTAL FOOTBALL, even if that means taking the face-masks off! That’ll stop even the toughest kamikaze playing defense.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I have long shared this view on tackling. But have not heard this idea on face masks.

    May I add that this be done to those that chronically continue to lead with head after being warned / fined penalized.

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