NFL Considering Ending Kick-Offs In Attempt To Reduce Injuries
We’ve all seen it. A speedy kickoff returner going full speed is suddenly clobbered by an opposing player going full tilt in the opposite direction. Now ESPN reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is suggesting that the leagues rules committee consider dropping the kickoff as a way to reduce injuries. No kickoffs? How would it work?
A team, instead of kicking off, would get the ball at its own 30-yard line in a fourth-and-15 situation. The team then would punt the ball away or, to replace an onside kick, could go for it and, if it failed to get a first down, the opposing squad would start with great field position.
The responses from players has been unanimous. Bad idea.
“I haven’t found anybody that likes the idea, because, first of all, the sport is called football, so you can’t keep taking the foot part of it out,” Denver Broncos punter Britton Colquitt said. “It would also be really confusing if they were like, ‘Stay tuned for kickoff,’ and there was no kickoff, you know? What are they going to say, ‘Stay tuned for the start of the game’? “Boooring!”
There is no question that something has to be done to reduce injuries, particularly concussions which may result in long term brain damage, but changes in the game such as this have to be thought out long and hard.