At the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday, the league made a sensible change entirely unrelated to instant replay, overtime or any other hot-button issues that have dominated the discourse down in Phoenix. With player safety in mind -- specifically, trying to reduce concussions -- the league voted to outlaw blindside blocks.
As the league announced, "It is a foul if a player initiates a block in which he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder." According to the NFL, blindside blocks were responsible for one-third of concussions that were sustained on punts.
Below, you can see a couple examples. They're pretty easy to spot.
To expand protection of the player being blocked, @NFL owners voted to eliminate blindside blocks. One-third of all concussions on punts were caused by blindside blocks. With the rule change, any forcible contact by the blocker with his head, shoulder or forearm is prohibited. pic.twitter.com/abA2cENnXe— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) March 26, 2019
This shouldn't come as a surprise. As more information becomes available and as more studies find that there's a link between football and CTE, the league has started implementing rule changes to address player safety. In 2015,, a degenerative brain disease. In 2017, It is, however, worth noting that in January 2018,
In recent years,Changes to the punt The league has also made it more difficult for defensive players to hit quarterbacks or defenseless players. A Eliminating blindside blocks was just the next logical step for the league to take, even if it will change the game. Changes to a violent sport, however, are necessary.
More rule changes -- ones not related to player safety -- might still arrive later on Tuesday as the league could vote on possible changes to instant replay. Regardless if those rule proposals are passed or rejected by the owners, the results are sure to generate more controversy than the rule change that banned blindside blocks. But that doesn't make player-safety rule changes any less important.