NFL makes protecting long snappers a point of emphasis for officials

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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.

11 responses to “NFL makes protecting long snappers a point of emphasis for officials

  1. Or, as in Pats eventual SB win over Falcons, a Pat will be flagged even if he don’t break that rule.

  2. @streetyson
    Or… Every time any plenty is called on the Pats an unhinged Pats Fan will proclaim how “unfairly” the Patriots are treated..

  3. @streetyson
    Or… Every time any penalty is called on the Pats an unhinged Pats Fan will proclaim how “unfairly” the Patriots are treated..

  4. So, there’s no rule change, but officials must now call a penalty? Was this always against the rules and never enforced? Or are we skirting the Rules Committee for fear that they won’t pass a new rule?

  5. 2nd best job in football (after backup QB). 12+ years money in the bank if you’re good and you still walk away with your legs and brains intact.

  6. It was fun watching the defense hurdle over the long snapper, but it’s a dangerous play & you can’t do it anymore. I don’t see how (in this case) this is targeting one team in particular

  7. This was previously illegal, but now it apparently will be enforced. The only problem I have is the actual reason why it wasn’t enforced in the first place. One official can’t look at everything all at once and constantly assess the NFL’s rulebook in real-time and make perfectly accurate calls. Making the rulebook even more complex is not going to help this issue, it’s just too hard for them to realistically do it well in real-time. That’s why the amount of bad calls and “referee ineptitude” is increasing – the game used to be much simpler to officiate, with rules that were easily understood and applied

  8. Bunch of long snappers got injured last year, so it is about time to enforce the rule.

  9. The Patriots weren’t called for this penalty in the SB, they were called for lining up over the center, which was a poor call, but considering that one point ended up not mattering, that should be the last concern to any patriots fan.

    But 2ruefan, use actual words to make your point, not hashtags.

  10. I can see it now, 4th and 9 and team has to punt late in the game in their own end.. oops lets call a flag because we want said punting team to get the ball back for a chance to win.. automatic 1st down and the rest is history. We can already guess the teams that will be the beneficiary of these calls. Too much emphasis on the officials now and less on the actual game. NFL is going to bury itself and eventually lose revenue which in turn will lower the salary cap and so in and so on. You get the picture?!?!?

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