Week 1 of the preseason is just around the corner, and the NFL has changed a rule that has been hotly contested: lowering the helmet to make contact with another player.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the NFL quietly made a notable change to the 2022 rule book. It now reads: “It is a foul if a player lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent.”
More from PFT:
“The rule has changed in two ways. First, the NFL has removed the requirement that the player initiate contact. Second, the word “forcible” has been added to the rule.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the word “initiate” was erased from the rule because it became a sticking point in connection with fines imposed on players for violating the rule. It was commonplace for players to argue that they did not “initiate” the contact, and it was making it harder for the fines to stick via the internal appeals process.
Of course, the addition of the word “forcible” will give players a different defense. The league apparently thinks it will be easier to show that a player made a forcible blow with the helmet than it was to prove that the player had initiated the contact.”
We have seen some ridiculous calls that stem from the lowering the helmet rule. It is possible that the NFL is trying to avoid situations like that.
The altered rule will get its first test run with the preseason opener right around the corner.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.