In college football, the targeting rule states that any player who targets his opponent’s head with an illegal hit is automatically ejected, resulting in numerous ejections every Saturday. That approach may be coming to the NFL.
NFL Executive Vice President for Football Operations Troy Vincent says that the league’s Competition Committee is looking at immediate ejections as a solution to eliminate hits to the head.
“The Committee is also exploring ways — including considering immediate ejections or suspensions — to take dangerous hits out of our game,” Vincent wrote on Twitter. “We’ll communicate this to our coaches and players with video examples of flagrant hits that may result in ejection or suspension.”
Referees already have the discretion to eject players for flagrantly illegal hits, but the refs rarely actually kick a player out of the game for even the hardest of head shots. And the league already hands out some suspensions for illegal hits, but those are also rare.
Vincent’s tweets suggest that they might not be rare for much longer. Ejections and suspensions may become a routine part of the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head.