The NFL is tweaking the ejection language in the new rule outlawing lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. Ejections by on-field officials will be subject to replay review, but owners must approve the replay component.
The NFL began a two-day player-safety summit Tuesday with owners, coaches, game officials, former players and a representative of the NFL Players Association.
The NFL ratified the safety rule five weeks ago. Everyone still is trying to figure out what type of play exactly officials will throw a flag. The most egregious violations are subject to ejection.
“That’s what I came here for,” Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn said during a break in Tuesday’s meeting, via Maske. “I want to know how the officials are going to officiate this in real speed. We’re sitting here watching all this stuff on video, and that’s easy. I’ve asked six times, ‘Can you rewind that back?’ Well, they [officials] don’t have that option on the field. I just want to see how they’re going to do it — the language and how we’re going to do this and how they’re going to officiate it when it’s full speed on the field.”
NFL officials have not said how often they expect the new rule to come into play. But Maske reports that the league said during the meeting that based on game video from last season they found about five violations per game of the new rule. That doesn’t mean, of course, officials will see all five considering the speed of the game.
Officials attending the meeting told participants they were confident they could spot violations in the open field.
Video of four plays of egregious violations was shown to participants Tuesday, according to Maske. The plays subject to the new rule included Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan‘s on Packers receiver Davante Adams and Bengals safety George Iloka‘s hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
“This is another challenge to get it taught better,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “There’s definitely plays . . . that, ‘OK, that play needs to leave [the sport], and that play needs to leave.’ Maybe if we start with those plays first to say the egregious fouls [must be addressed], then it’ll kind of trickle itself down.”