Roger Goodell: Penalized hits could become reviewable

Roger Goodell says penalized hits could become reviewable.
Roger Goodell says penalized hits could become reviewable. (USATSI)

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One of the biggest issues the NFL has on its hands right now is the way to handle big hits that are penalized. Refs are told to err on the side of caution and that results in flags for hits that could be considered clean.

A good way to fix that would be to make penalized hits reviewable. And in an interview with Rich Eisen on NFL Network, Commissioner Roger Goodell -- in addition to discussing playoff expansion and the possibility of no more extra points -- said that's a possibility in the future. 

"I've talked to several coaches during the year. It's a big call obviously. We've had some mistakes made on the field, where the player used the right techniques and the flag was thrown," Goodell said. "You don't want that. You want to encourage them to make the adjustment, which I think players and coaches have done. And we want to make sure we get it right on the field.

"I believe that will be a reviewable call. I know the committee's going to study that."

Good for Goodell. Because this has to happen. People will complain (because that's what people do) about the additional time required to review these hits and the subjective nature of the reviews when they happen.

Ideally the NFL would have someone at the command center look at the hit and make an instant evaluation. But even if it's just the refs on the field making the call, it would be a massive improvement.

Having a 15-yard personal foul penalty that's incorrectly assessed because refs are being careful end up determining the course of a game just flat-out isn't fair. 

Reviewing those plays wouldn't be a guarantee to fix that issue but it would go a good ways on improving what we have now. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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