The NFL has officially passed a new ban that penalizes players for lowering their helmet to initiate contact. The ban officially states “It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent…The player may be disqualified. Applies to any player anywhere on the field,” according to the NFL.
Playing Rule Article 8: It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. The player may be disqualified. Applies to any player anywhere on the field. The player may be disqualified.
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 27, 2018
In 2017, roughly 291 concussions were recorded which is the highest ever recorded on NFL history. One out of every two helmet to helmet collisions resulted in these concussions making this a point of concern for NFL’s chairman of the Competition Committee Rich McKay.
“This is a pretty significant change,” said McKay. “We felt it was time for a change of this magnitude.
A 15-yard penalty will be enforced for this offense in an effort to reduce head injuries in 2018.
This change comes after last season with players such as Steeler’s linebacker Ryan Shazier suffering career-changing injuries. Shazier suffered a severe spinal injury during a head to head collision in a game against the Bengals and is still recovering in a wheelchair.
Ryan Shazier injury…… players saying a prayer and taking a knee https://t.co/0sVHlRcGg5
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 5, 2017
The specifics regarding this new change are still under review for the coming months and are expected to be finalized by May.