NFL might impose further restrictions on hits to the head
By Mark Maske
INDIANAPOLIS--The NFL's rule-making competition committee is studying the possibility of proposing further prohibitions on hits to the head, a committee member said Thursday.
"I think our main focus has been on player safety issues and how we can cut back on contact to the head," New York Giants co-owner John Mara said. "We just spent a few hours talking to the players about that.... We're trying to cut down on these hits to the head because we're concerned about the effects."
Members of the competition committee met here Thursday with representatives of the players' union. Mara said players who participated in Thursday's meeting expressed mixed feelings about further restrictions being imposed.
"The players are mixed about that," Mara said. "A lot of them are defensive players and their response is, 'What can we do?' Our response is, 'Lower the angle.' "
The NFL already has prohibited hits to the head of a player deemed to be in a defenseless position during a game, including a quarterback delivering a pass and a receiver in the process of making a catch.
Last season, the league toughened its enforcement of existing rules prohibiting hits to the head, imposing heavy fines on players for infractions.
Mara said Thursday that possible changes this offseason could include broadening the definition of what a defenseless player is--for instance, protecting a receiver for a longer period after he makes a catch--and further restricting a player from launching himself on a hit.
February 24, 2011; 4:48 PM ET
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