NFL expects more kickoff returns and fewer injuries this season

Getty Images

In the last few years, the NFL’s emphasis on reducing injuries on kickoffs has focused primarily on incentivizing teams to go for touchbacks, rather than returns. This year’s rule changes are different.

NFL Executive V.P. of Football Operations Troy Vincent said on PFT Live the rules passed yesterday, which include eliminating running starts and limiting where players can line up, will actually result in more kickoff returns.

“This will encourage more kickoff returns and a more explosive play,” Vincent said.

So how could more returns result in fewer injuries? Vincent said it’s all about limiting the number of high-speed collisions right at the start of the play, which Vincent believes the new restrictions will reduce.

“What our data has said is most of those head injuries occurred up in that first 15 yards, which we call the no-blocking zone,” he said. “We believe it will reduce some of the unnecessary risk that we’ve seen in the past.”

Vincent said the kickoff should be a more integral part of football this season, saying, “We think it’s a better play today.”

14 responses to “NFL expects more kickoff returns and fewer injuries this season

  1. How about providing actual analysis, like how that the new rules make players run and block beside each other like a punt return instead of massive head-on collisions? Or that the alignment takes away the 300lb linemen from special teams as running side-by-side is more critical?

    Even better, maybe you should let people know that these rules came from a committee of SPECIAL TEAM COACHES that knows the plays the best? Or that the kickoff was FIVE TIMES more dangerous (concussions-related) than any other football play?

  2. So they saw the outrage from fans on the rules changes and are now trying to put a positive spin on it.

    Sorry guys, not working.

    “This will encourage more kickoff returns and a more explosive play”= Lie

    When is the not allowing offensive lineman to have forceful engagements with defensive lineman spin going to come? That a “better play” today too Troy?

    At least keep saying these changes are just for safety and do not try and insult our intelligence by saying this will make a more exciting game.

  3. Since the new rule, as I understand it, virtually eliminates on-sides kicks, my question is: Which teams lost a game the last few years due to an onside kick? That will show the true reason for the rule change.

  4. “Put them in panties and have them skip down the field”
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Kinky.
    I support you and your constitutionally protected unconventional sports lifestyle.

  5. Our data shows the Patriots paid enough for us to sell them one last desperate attempt for a ring before the crynasty is over and it’s back to the 90’s. At which point 90% of fans, bandwagoners, will leech onto whatever team is winning at the time.

  6. willycents says:
    May 23, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Since the new rule, as I understand it, virtually eliminates on-sides kicks, my question is: Which teams lost a game the last few years due to an onside kick? That will show the true reason for the rule change.
    _______________________________________________

    Since any team that was the victim of a successful onside kick might just be the beneficiary of one the conspiracy theory stuff is hard to take seriously. The death of the onside kick on the other hand is quite serious and is going to hurt the NFL where it counts, in the wallet. Games with a two score lead and a few minutes left will now effectively be over and rather than having more people tuning in to them will have everyone turning them off.

  7. “What our data has said is most of those head injuries occurred up in that first 15 yards, which we call the no-blocking zone,” he said. “We believe it will reduce some of the unnecessary risk that we’ve seen in the past.” Huh…has anyone ever watched a kickoff? Pretty sure there is not that much contact in the first 15 yards. Red Herring.
    \

  8. The “first 15 yards” can mean a couple different things. I’ve rarely seen a guy INSTANTLY hurt on a kickoff; it tends to be happen later in the play during the actual return itself. Technically, those guys might be injured in that “first 15 yard” area but they had have passed through that space once and had re-entered it a second time as the return progressed upfield.

  9. So how as fans, do we fight back against these changes???

    Need a collective voice to say we do not approve of these changes.
    Our displeasure needs to be heard.

  10. Hopefully, this new rule will result in more kickoff returns. It has been pretty painful watching a game where a TV viewer has to sit through (after every score) commercial, touchback on kickoff, commercial. They wonder why TV ratings have gone down.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!