Newly established NFL helmet rules will stand. However, the new rule is currently surrounded by controversy after recent events have proven its weaknesses.
The NFL presleg match between the Chargers and the Cardinals, a pair of fouls were called on the Arizona players. First, a penalty known as safety AJ Howard, wiping out a jumble that Cardinals take advantage of and recover.
It was called an illegal blow on an unguarded receiver, but Sean Culkin’s tight final charger ensured the ball was long enough to no longer be protected. Moreover, he owns the ball long enough to complete the capture process. This could be because Howard lowered his helmet to contact, which is what he did.
But here is where the problem gets bigger: Many say that he has no other choice. Howard tries to pull out a settlement form in real time and at full speed, but he remembers his markings and helmets touch Culkin. As a rule of thumb, this requires a penalty each time.
The second incident occurred in the same game. Cardinal safely Travell Dixon, after trying a form of settlement, lowered his helmet and contacted the receiver Chargers Geremy Davis. Again, as the rule was written, the flag was thrown and a foul called.
Referee Brad Allen stressed that more of these fouls will be seen during the preseason, but everything that the rule states are being applied properly. The problem is that the rule builders have made it so big that it will try to straighten out the irreparable behavior within the limits of how the game has been played, for decades.
All of the aforementioned events are disturbing cases. Training staff, players and even commissioners need to open their eyes.
NFL helmet rules are much broader, including not only the use of helmets as a weapon but also accidental contact that can occur when one moving player clashes with another player. And the smart move would be to improve the rules in a more centralized manner, to arrange a meeting between owners and to go over the specifics of the rule just like the first implemented rule was decided in March.
Moreover, past events show that the NFL will never be willing to admit this mistake and make the shot, opting instead to ignore the current issue. This means that fans will be ready for a season that will raise eyebrows for all the wrong reasons.