Devin Hester is not a fan of NFL’s new touchback rule

AP

The NFL refers to kickoff returns as the most dangerous play in the game, and has changed rules to try to minimize them.

To Devin Hester, that’s almost like an unfair restraint of trade.

The Falcons return man said he’s personally never been hurt while returning a kickoff, and since he’s really good at it, he’s naturally skeptical about the change. The league has tweaked rules this year, allowing touchbacks to be placed at the 25 to try to encourage more teams to not return kickoffs.

It’s like taking away a job from people,” Hester said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “I got a concussion making a block at receiver. But I never got hurt taking hits back on kickoffs.”

Hester’s currently rehabbing a toe injury which apparently wasn’t suffered on a return. He has five career kickoff return touchdowns, and a 92-yarder in the Super Bowl.

So with a 24.9-yard career average on kickoff returns, you’ll pardon him if he’s not interested in a free crack at the 25-yard line.

“If we’re clicking, we can bring it back from pretty much anywhere; real talk,’’ Hester said. “If our return game is doing good, it’s pretty much the green light. The deepest I’ve fielded one [with Falcons] has been 7 or 8 yards in. The normal is about 4 or 5 yards deep.

“As far as how the other team kicks off, it’s all going to depend on one type of returner you have back there. If they believe in their coverage team they are going to try it.’’

Hester’s hoping they do. His job depends on it.

10 responses to “Devin Hester is not a fan of NFL’s new touchback rule

  1. Devin, you’re not the one they’re worried about. The backup linebacker running full-speed into the backup offensive guard is the two-car-crash collision they want to prevent.

  2. Who is the moron who every year suggests a new rule. He needs to be fired. Pretty soon when people will compare NFL 1990 to NFL 2020 it will not even look like the same game.

  3. I started watching football in the late 80’s. I watched even more football when the Sunday ticket began in the late 90’s.

    For the life of me I simply can not recall there being more injures on special teams (especially kick and punt returns.) than on a down to down basis when the regular offense and defense are on the field? A few nasty injuries, Yes for sure. (Seems the Lions guy and maybe a Bills guy having severe spinal injuries) but overall I’d suggest over the past 25+ years the injuries that happen on special teams are minuscule compared to the injuries on regular downs.

    So IMO special teams seems to have became the NFL’s fall guy.

  4. nhpats says:
    May 26, 2016 9:46 AM
    We are ruining the game of football. Let’s just go back to the rules of 1980 and let them play.

    Get rid of the sticky gloves also

  5. ….this rule is guaranteed to cause MORE injuries and the NFL doesn’t realize it. Coach’s will now instruct the kicker to boom the kick HIGH and shorter…basically 55 to 60 yards…they will want the ball NOW to come down around the 5 to 10 yard line. Every kickoff will just be like a punt. No one will like it…and I guarantee more injuries will happen.

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