Running backs can no longer lower their head when being tackled.
A new rule has been passed in the NFL that forbids ball carriers from lowering their helmet and using the crown to run over defenders, in a bid to lower the risk of a concussion.
The Tuck rule may have been removed, but it seems the ‘Truck rule’ has taken its place as the controversial addition to the NFL rulebook.
The rule implies that a ball-carrier can no longer lower his helmet when engaging in a tackle, so that the crown in the point of impact. If the refs deem that the carrier has done this, they hand out a 15 yard penalty to the offence.
The rule is here to to help with the league’s efforts to lower the risk of concussions, which is certainly a worthy cause, but has left a sour taste in the mouth for many running backs – such as Matt Forte, who tweeted this after the announcement:
Wow so they really passed that rule…last time I checked football was a contact sport. Calling bank now to set up my lowering the boom fund
— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 20, 2013
It is understandable to see where this point of view comes from. Running backs have very little help when running into several linebackers on their own, and they use this method to help break through tackles. If a ball-carrier was to remain high, then they are not going anyway, as they would be too easy to tackle.
The video at the bottom of the page is an example of what last season was considered a brilliant play by Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers – yet this year, he would be given a 15 yard penalty, and quite possibly a fine.
While it is good to see that the league is continuing in its efforts to reduce concussions, this measure may be a little ill-fought, and has the potential to effectively put the power running game into extinction.