No more kickoffs?
In an attempt to reduce player injuries on these typically frantic plays, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reportedly broached the idea of eliminating this aspect of the game altogether. Goodell recently mentioned such a drastic alteration to NFL rules during a meeting with NFL Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay, according to Sean Gregory of TIME.
Goodell has already tinkered with kickoffs during his time as Commissioner, altering the rules before the 2011 season. At that time, the NFL moved kickoffs up five yards to the 35-yard line in an attempt to make them safer. After that season, the NFL reported that concussions suffered on kickoffs were down 43%. Of course, not everyone agreed with that rule change.
A possible new change reportedly mentioned by Goodell to McKay would eliminate kickoffs altogether. After a touchdown or made field goal, Gregory writes, a team that would have previously been kicking off would instead get the ball at its own 30-yard line, facing fourth and 15. The team can either punt or attempt to pick up a first down and keep the ball. This proposal has reportedly been promoted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.
Reacting to this reported proposal, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk writes that "the risk of catastrophic injury would be reduced" if kickoffs were replaced by punts.
What do you think?
Seeing as how this rule change would have a tremendous effect on kicking specialists, it's not surprising that Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was among the first players to react to the news on Twitter.