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In recent NFL news, a new rule regarding fair catch kickoffs has stirred controversy. According to this rule, any fair catch made inside the 25-yard line will automatically result in the ball being spotted at the 25. Among those who strongly oppose this rule is Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell. During a press conference before OTAs, Campbell expressed his frustration, stating, “I hate that we continue to take away from the game.” The rule change was approved by NFL team owners on Tuesday and will be implemented on a trial basis for one season.
- Campbell strongly dislikes the new fair catch kickoff rule.
- The rule allows fair catches inside the 25-yard line to be automatically spotted at the 25.
- NFL team owners approved the rule change on a trial basis for one season.
- Kickoffs have the highest concussion rate, with kicks inside the 5-yard line causing particular concern.
- In 2022, there were 19 reported concussions from approximately 2,700 kickoffs.
- Special teams coaches believe the confusion caused by the rule change may pose greater health risks.
Detroit Lions HC Dan Campbell sounds off on NFL's newest rule
“Highly frustrating. It’s very frustrating,” head coach Dan Campbell said. “But look, I don’t make the rules. So, that’s the new rule, then we’ll live by the new rule. We’ll find a way to adjust and adapt and get what we want. That’s what you gotta do.
“I hate that we continue to take away from the game. That’s what worries me. We continue to bleed this league (dry) — if we’re not careful, it won’t replenish at one point.”
Special Teams Coaches Furious Over New NFL Rule
League officials justified the rule change by pointing out that kickoffs are associated with the highest rate of concussions in the NFL each year. Specifically, kicks that land inside the 5-yard line were found to be of particular concern based on injury data analyzed by Sports Illustrated. In 2022, there were 19 reported concussions resulting from approximately 2,700 kickoffs, whereas, in 2021 and 2020, the numbers were 14 and 10, respectively. This means that 99.3% of kickoff plays were concussion-free.
However, special teams coaches across the league vehemently opposed the rule change and highlighted the potential for confusion and increased health risks associated with it. They argued that the impact of the rule change on player safety could be greater than the current 0.7% concussion rate. The opposing views and concerns surrounding this new rule have sparked a significant debate within the NFL community.
Bottom Line – Detroit Lions HC Dan Campbell's Disapproval Echoes a Wider Concern
The strong disapproval voiced by Dan Campbell regarding the NFL's latest rule change brings attention to the larger issue of player safety within the league. While the intention behind the rule is to reduce concussion rates during kickoffs, the opposition from coaches and concerns about increased confusion and potential health risks underscore the complexities surrounding the implementation of such changes. The ongoing dialogue and debates will continue as the NFL seeks to strike the right balance between protecting players and preserving the essence of the game.