The NFL may not be finished fiddling with kickoffs.
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, the league said there may be additional changes to this year’s new rules about kickoffs, which they’re trying to make safer.
A league spokesman said any additional changes would be “minor,” but the fact they’re still adjusting just before training camp starts is still a bit startling.
The new rules are a significant change, with former referee Terry McAulay calling them “the biggest change I’ve ever seen.” And if the league’s considering adjusting the rule book now (it was just published on June 28), there figures to be confusion among coaches as they try to figure out what to teach players.
“The NFL officiating and football operations staff, with competition committee approval, may make some minor tweaks to the language to further clarify the rule,” league spokesman Michael Signora said. “If so, that information would be circulated to all clubs and the rule book updated accordingly.”
The league took steps to change kickoffs to try to curb injuries, routinely describing it as the most dangerous play in the game. And even in the recently published rulebook, there were other changes which hadn’t been previously disclosed, including automatic touchbacks if a ball hits the end zone without being touched by a member of the receiving team.