New extra point rule criticized over player safety concerns

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Most rules changes the NFL has adopted in recent years have been part of a broader effort to make the game safer. But some say the league’s new extra point rule will increase injuries.

Now that extra point kicks will be 13 yards longer, and blocked kicks can be returned by the defense for two points, there have been questions raised about whether we’ll see an increase in injuries suffered on extra points.

“Being on field goal protection is probably the worst job in football. I know that and all my linemen know that,” Bills kicker Dan Carpenter said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Well now they just went from a play that there weren’t too many collisions to a play now where not only is the defense coming to take that one point off, but also to add a chance to add two more to their score. For a sport that was trying to cut back on collisions, I think that you’re probably just going to add a few more on those situations.”

It is true that a blocked extra point returned the other way is a play that has the potential to cause an injury. But those plays will be so infrequent that it seems unlikely that injuries will increase significantly. Carpenter’s concern sounds like a reach.

82 responses to “New extra point rule criticized over player safety concerns

  1. So, essentially, he’s saying that teams didn’t even really try that hard to block extra points. If that’s the case, they weren’t doing the jobs they’re paid handsomely for.

    And I’m all for preventing injuries, but I don’t see how this is any different than a goal line stand. It’s football, guy. People have to collide a little bit.

  2. Please. If you guys, with your crash helmets and your suits of armor, can’t execute a 15-yard EP without grievous bodily harm, just pack it up and go home.

  3. Gee, maybe we should eliminate the pass because the receivers might get tackled in awkward positions. And then we could eliminate the run because of all those nasty collisions. It is rumored that teams are trying to score on those plays, too, and that the defense believes they could even score on fumbles or interceptions.

  4. The less football you play the fewer the injuries. That’s just science. It’s also stupidly obvious. Cancel the season … no injuries then.

  5. He’s got a point there! But, isn’t this just more bit of subtle proof that the NFL is far too inconsistent with too many of their decisions and policies. I’m not counting but it seems when reading these posts that many feel the same way of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the Godfather of the NFL and his arbitrary and unfair decisions. Once the son of US Senator Charles Goodell of New York, he has a pompous fake politicians’s personality I just can’t buy. The big fake hug to every top draft pick is just like a candidate kissing babies, so fake an insincere. A true blue politicians who treats people the way he himself thinks is below his status. I think Paul Taliabue was a working man’s commissioner and one whose decisions seemed truly in the best interest of the game all around. This new NFL reminds me of Congress more and more each day. They give to themselves so much and so very little to the masses of NFL fans, it really is hard to stomach. 44 million dollars a year, for what? If your going to pretend you worry about player safety then stay focus and don’t make rules that put more of them back in danger of serious injuries, but I feel like were talking to the wall. Free Tom Brady and let’s get a new commissioner sooner than later.

  6. The change may make the game more unpredictable (is that the same as exciting) and will allow opportunities for the poorer team to actually win.

    I prefer less gimmickry.

  7. The rule change is fine. Who doesn’t want a little extra drama in a close game? Down by 7… late 4th quarter drive… you score… now you have to convert the extra point! Will coaches leave any extra time for an onside kick in case they miss?

    If they want to reduce injuries, especially for defensive linemen, they’ll eliminate cut blocks in the tackle box.

  8. evidently we now know why very few kicks are blocked…. because no one is really trying as they might get hurt on a play only worth 1 point… smh…

  9. Yeah, can’t wait until there is a blocked kicked and its going to be either the kicker or place holder is going to chase down the defense then get blocked blindsided by someone on the defense and that kicker or place holder, which is either the punter or backup qb, get injured and has to be out a month. Then, people will scream, player safety.

  10. He’s right. I mean, extra points were hardly scintillating before. Now with the chance of returning a blocked kick for 2 points, you’ll definitely see defenses trying harder, especially in close games. Which means bigger possibility of injury.

    I like the change from a fan point of view for the exact same reason. It will make it more interesting, especially in close games.

    But it’s definitely not a safety first move. It’s a more interesting=better ratings=more money move.

  11. Would have been nice to actually do a little research before spouting off. That would have been an adult kind of way to respond. Are injury rates higher on extra point today? Good question to ask the NFL, don’t you think?

  12. He’s right. Because now all of those lineman are actually going to try.

    If they wanted to make the game more exciting, how about they give us back the damn kick return…the kickoff has become the most useless play in football.

  13. I don’t get why people make this argument. The game is inherently dangerous. The league said they want to make the game “safer” which is what they’ve done (25% fewer concussions last year).

    That doesn’t mean that literally every single rule change will have the sole focus of making the game “safer”. Some of them may involve increasing excitement and interest in a particular play.

    For example, I can say my overall goal is to save more money. If I find a way to reduce my expenses by $500/ month and I also treat myself to a nice dinner once per month… That does not make me a hippocrite.

    Wanting to make the game “safer” is a general goal. They did not say “the safest sport possible”. That would mean turning the NFL into 2 hand touch. I have no problem with this rule in regards to the “safety” complaint. Whether or not it was really needed is a different point.

  14. Hey,…it’s football! There are collisions and hits – that’s why these players make a lot of money. There is always room on the checkers teams if he doesn’t like it. Really embarrassed for him complaining after all the “safety” rules that have been put in place.

  15. Carpenter just added to the understanding that kickers aren’t football players; they’re kickers.

  16. That defenseless receiver rule took a lot out of the game for me anyway so now when safety is brought up it doesn’t really matter to me what they do at this point.

  17. I dunno, I’ve been to a lot of NFL games, and what you see there is not the same as on TV- NOBODY bothers trying to block a PAT, ever, except in a last-second situation in a 1 point game. They aren’t even trying on those, same with most field goals. It’s obvious when you’re watching, and it’s always bugged me.

  18. Oh geeze what a bunch of wimps the players are turning into.

    I suppose they might as well just take off the pads and put the tutus and flags on.

    Someone better tell him that he can get inured crossing the street or driving his car to work, or even slipping and falling in his own home. He might want to become a bubble boy.

  19. Who cares what he meant he needs to shut up and just play. So tired of players whining with the millions they get paid.

  20. So since they couldn’t get two points before, teams weren’t trying to block kicks?

    Doesn’t make sense. Sounds like a kicker sees a way to get his name in the press for something other than shanking a FG, and he took it.

  21. Before long we will be asking each other if we remember football when football was football.

  22. Football is already making billions of dollars, why change it? Because of Fantasy Football, that’s what really runs the NFL. I could be Commissioner and the NFL would still make billions of dollars.

  23. I believe he meant during the play. Before this rule the extra point was just that, a simple point that most people didn’t care about. Now every extra point is essentially a field goal as it prevents the defense from 2 points and scores a point. Kicks are certianly the most dangerous play if football as you have 9 men doing everything to stop 11 men from crossing the line and blocking the kick with the 11 trying anything, including jumping over those trying to block to get to the kicker. This makes it so those plays happen after every score now and not just on field goals. I don’t like the rule change but I don’t mind more competitiveness

  24. This has to be the stupidest sports article of all time. Why not just play flag football and make it easier on everybody?! The comments here are great…too funny.

  25. .
    not understanding why only a blocked kick is returnable… so a shanked one isnt?
    what designates a block?
    reversing the balls direction?
    diverting its direction?
    just a defender touching it?

    there doesnt seem to be a standard as to what is a block or not, if u think there is then your fantasy league doesnt give u points for a blocked kick.

  26. So tired of this issue. Either stop playing football or shut the hell up. Here’s an idea, get the players OFF PEDs and get them back to “normal looking” human beings and a lot of this will take care of itself

  27. Maybe the NFL can compensate these guys with thousands or millions of dollars to make up for the risk to their health. Oh wait, they already do that? Then what is the problem?

    It’s football.

  28. Is it possible to “unread” the Carpenter quote? I need a new sport!

  29. The issue with the extra point rules is going to be the fact that a team is going to lose a game on what has ALWAYS been an automatic part of the game. Just as soon as your team, or my team, loses by one point because of a missed extra point, there will be outrage. As there should be. I do not need a longer extra point to make football exciting to me. I like the game the way it is. I did not need kickoffs out of the end zone every time either, but that is what was forced on us. Sometime change for the sake of change is REALLY bad….

  30. Let’s be honest. The extra points was almost always a gimme. Defenders didn’t try that hard to stop it for the most part because they knew the chances were very slim. Even if they got a piece of the ball, it was probably going to make it through at that close of a distance. Now there is a legitimate reason for special teams to go all out, and try to block or at least put pressure on the kicker. Makes the game more exciting and dramatic, but Carpenters argument is valid, it increases the risk of injured players which is why the NFL claims they moved kickoffs closer to the opponents end zone so there are more touch backs and less returns, making that part of the game boring.

  31. What’s the injury rate of field goals from the 15 yard line? The defense can score on blocked field goals, so I would expect to see their effort on PATs to now match short field goal efforts.

  32. That is why the Patriots proposal was best, it did not incentives the defenses ability to score and thus no safety concerns from overzealous. I do not believe that defensive units should be allowed to score on point after attempts simply because the offense has 3 specialist who are not every down players. IMO it’s 11 vs 8 after a failed attempt.

  33. IT’s not a reach. Teams will work harder to block the extra point now. It’s not only about the return. It’s about the fact that its now a harder kick for the kicker to make therefore it’s much more blockable so teams will be more aggressive to try to block it

  34. I thought the whole concept is for the offense to try and score points while the defense tries to prevent said offense from scoring and possibly score points themselves through turnovers caused by their defensive play. Or am I missing something?

  35. This is all Goodell, raising awareness on concussions, bleeds into everything. Football is too dangerous, returns are too dangerous, now kicking fg’s is too dangerous, who knew?

    You got the players who once were proud warriors, thinking about safety at every turn and lawsuits if needing cash.

    If Goodell were a lawyer or commissioner of a sports league he would have been fired long ago, under the loose lips rule. Oh wait…

    He wasn’t hiding anything, everyone knows you can get hurt and your bell rung playing, since the early 1900’s. I signed a paper when I was 8 acknowledging that in the 70’s. Talking about it in public does this, see Low Pressured Footballs, for example. Mole hill, meet mountain.

  36. It seems like football players are complaining about having to play football. There are hundreds and really thousands of guys who would love to play even if it only means they are the FG team.

  37. No, transforming the PAT into a potentially critical aspect of the game is a reach.

  38. Tired of the Union complaining – just to complain. The new rule doesn’t add plays, and let’s assume players are giving full effort regardless of the play. The risk is the same.

    The union argument is they want more plays where players can give 1/2 the effort…thats not a message I’m interested in.

  39. Injuries? Isn’t that why they wear helmets, pads and miles and miles of tape? Poor, poor NFL players! Maybe they should quit and go find a safer job, like policeman, fireman, or coal miner.

  40. Carpenter is grasping at straws. I don’t think the rule change will affect how teams approach the extra point very much. I think its a stretch to say that more than an average of one play per game will result in any extra collisions. Even that number sounds high to me.

  41. they werent trying cause it was automatic in there brains..well guys in todays new nfl the owners think moving it back 15 yds makes it not so you might have to actually earn your money

  42. So the guy who has the least contact on the football field is the one “concerned” with player safety. Football is a physical sport and people make choices to play it. If the entire kicking game were eliminated it would be safer and Carpenter wouldn’t have a job. High School and College extra points IMO is the way it should be done. If the defense is on the field they too should have an opportunity to score.

  43. Well, luckily the Bills won’t have to worry about extra points since they can’t score touchdowns. LOL! Just kidding, of course. But really, the extra point was a worthless play and I’m glad to see the proposal adopted to actually make it interesting. Besides, they’re not exactly playing on catwalks above shark-infested waters or anything.

  44. I hate the rule change not because it makes the game more dangerous, but because it is inconsistent with the league’s other kicking decisions. They have done all they can to eliminate the concept of the kickoff return, allegedly because it’s too dangerous. If you want to keep consistency, and if you really think the extra point is so boring that something has to be done, then eliminate the kick altogether. Make all TDs 7 points and give each team a play from the 2 yard line for an additional point.

    Is the kicking game dangerous, or isn’t it? Make up your damn minds.

  45. Sounds like he should be looking for a different career.

    Not one person in the NFL is forcing him to play. LoL. He is quite obviously not cut out for it.

    Ugh, some of these guys, they love their checks but seem to just want to stand out on the field and wave to peoplE. There IS A REASON why it’s been discussed, debated and decided that these guys get paid the amount they do, it’s a tough game. Deal with it.

    Stop whining asking for rules to keep the defense away from you, maybe just training and playing better would be more successful.

  46. luther6 says:
    May 21, 2015 7:33 AM
    Carpenter is what Johnny Football would look like if he were a badass.
    Yeah, instead Johnny Football looks more like Elliot from Deadliest Catch lol

  47. It’s a dumb rule. More games will now be decided by fluke missed field goals. Kickers deciding more outcomes? Excuse me, but I just don’t see a lot of kids going around wearing kickers’ jerseys. I don’t think 60,000 people pile into stadiums on Sunday to see a game decide by a fluke. People that don’t love football shouldn’t be making rules. This rule is not in the best interest of a real fan of the game.

  48. This will affect teams more that play outdoors vs indoors and teams that play in cold weather cities more. This will potentially tilt the competitive balance in favor of indoor and mild weather cities.

    I’m surprised the competition committee didn’t realize the potential for a NY team for example being affected more than say Miami or San Diego.

    A season could be on the line for an extra point in a snow storm and meanwhile down south or indoors the weather is perfect. Doesn’t seem fair.

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