Another confusing new rule? Blindside block called in Lions-Texans game creates waves
It appears another new NFL rule is going to be just as head-scratching as pass interference
And you thought pass interference was the only new rule change you had to pay attention to this season.
Along with the revamped rules surrounding PI, the NFL has instilled a ban on blindside blocks this season. As it was defined by the league back in March: "It is a foul if a player initiates a block in which he is moving towards or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder."
While the rule change in itself isn't much of a big deal, the way in which the rule is currently stated is making things a bit confusing for teams, which was on full display during the Lions-Texans preseason contest on Saturday.
Lions guard Oday Aboushi was called for it in that matchup after hitting Texans linebacker Jamal Davis. While right tackle David Wiggins was blocking for quarterback David Fales, Davis was able to loop around Wiggins. Aboushi saw Wiggins was about to get beat and laid a hit on Davis. By the letter of the rule, Davis "was moving towards" his own end line, but it wasn't exactly a traditional blindside block as he saw Aboushi coming, an area of the ruling that certainly could use more clarification.
Because the way the rule is currently constructed, Aboushi was flagged for the infraction and NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron supported the call.
The intent behind the rule is to limit head injuries. As the league noted when they first came to an agreement on the banishment, one-third of all concussions suffered by players on punts were cause by blindside blocks. This is their effort to try and reduce that number for player safety.
While a valiant endeavor, there's certainly some areas that may need some fine-tuning to really encapsulate the spirit of the change.
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