Skip to main content

The NFL wants to remake the kickoff... or else

The NFL will gather a summit of head coaches and special teams coordinators to discuss methods for making kickoffs safer, according to a report from Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

In speaking with ESPN, Green Bay Packers president and NFL competition committee member Mark Murphy said the impetus for the summit is the high number of concussions that occur on kickoffs -- even on plays where the ball lands in the end zone and results in a touchback.

"We've reduced the number of returns," Murphy said, "but we haven't really done anything to make the play safer."

Murphy expressed frustration at a high number of plays in which a player covering the kick sees the ball sail into the end zone and begins to let up for an obvious touchback, and then a player on the kickoff return team uses the opportunity to get in a free, blindside hit at a defenseless opponent. This comes in conjunction with the league adopting a stricter rule regulating contact with a player's head.

"If you don't make changes to make (the kickoff) safer, we're going to do away with it," Murphy told ESPN. "It's that serious. It's by far the most dangerous play in the game."

Tags
terms: