The NFL Competition Committee is debating whether to ban all blocks below the waist, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
King tweeted on Friday:
Just reported on @nbcsn that NFL's Competition Committee will consider abolition of ALL blocks below the waist in 2013.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 23, 2012
It appears the NFL is hoping this will decrease the amount of injuries to players every season. Indeed, a lot of season-ending injuries occur below the waist.
It is, however, a big change that will affect the way teams can block, and it's easy to wonder if the players and coaches are even all on board with this. When you're used to blocking a certain way for years and now must change, that's not only going to create an adjustment period, but it's also likely going to result in a lot of penalties in the early going after the rule has been implemented.
I doubt sincerely it will pass. Head coaches/offensive coaches will go nuts over it. But I see two specific low blocks to be endangered now.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 23, 2012
King went on to say he believes the chop block and downfield low blocks would be eliminated during the process.
This is still a preliminary move and nothing is certain yet, but the fact that the league is looking into it shows that there is, indeed, a concerted effort to change the way players play the game.
It would be a struggle early on, but if it can help limit the injury total each season, perhaps it is worth it. After all, we've seen so many star players undergo season-ending surgery after serious injuries throughout the years that it only benefits the fans and the league to keep these players on the field.
As King added:
To all those angry about no blocks below the waist, ask Brian Cushing--out for the year on sketchy low block--and Eric Berry, who lost 2011.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 23, 2012
Like any change to the league, this won't proceed without its speed bumps, but at least there's an attempt to protect the players' health after years of turning a blind eye to their safety.