The NFL is once again reminding players, coaches and officials that lowering the helmet to initiate contact is a penalty that referees won’t hesitate to call this season.
In a video distributed by the league on Tuesday, lowering the helmet was singled out as one of the penalties that officials will be keeping an eye out for.
“A continued point of emphasis for the 2021 season is the use of helmet foul,” the video said. “It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with an opponent. The penalty is 15 yards and the player could be disqualified. Even if not called on the field, such actions could warrant further review and discipline by the league.”
Although the rules on lowering the helmet are unchanged for 2021, when the league makes a foul a point of emphasis, that usually means the league felt that too many players were breaking the rule in 2020. Don’t be surprised if officials throw more flags for lowering the helmet and initiating contact in 2021.