A lot has been made of this change in the kickoff rules, mainly by those that think the game will “inherently” change because of this. I am not so sure we are looking at a doomsday scenario like that. Rather, I do feel that limiting the full speed collisions over the season will in fact reduce the chances of concussions in that particular “subset” of the game.
I must admit that while tracking the concussions in the NFL last season specific plays and situations were not part of data collection. However, it is empirically noted that the full speed nature over great distance have resulted in many concussions. There have been a variety of stories about players getting drilled during special teams. In fact, most of the “journeyman” that appear on the concussed list sustained those injuries during that phase of the game. The specific nuances of the rule were described by Rich McKay in New Orleans;
Playing Rule Proposal No. 2 was the kickoff. That rule passed and ended up in a form we called Playing Rule Proposal No. 2A. 2A ended up having the following elements: the kickoff will be from the 35-yard line; Continue reading