The NFL wants to make sure long snappers aren’t getting hit in the head while they’re looking between their legs.
The league has decided to make protection for long snappers a point of emphasis for the officials this season. The officials are being told to look for any contact to the head or neck area of a snapper on a kicking play.
“While there is no rule change, the Officiating Department will emphasize in 2018 that fouls are will be called when defenders initiate contact to the head or neck area of the snapper,” the league’s Football Operations website says.
That point of emphasis is one of several player safety measures the NFL has implemented this offseason. Just how big a change this will be is hard to say until the season starts, but we may see more penalties on the defense on kicking plays.