Starting this year the NFL will flag ball carriers found guilty of lowering their heads outside the tackle box and striking defenders with the crown of the helmet. Much controversy has ensued since the announcement of this rule. Some have cried “wussification.” Others have simply wondered how already over-taxed officials are going to call the rule when there is so much gray area involved.
Viking fans have been particularly attentive to this controversy for obvious reasons. Adrian Peterson is a guy who loves lowering his head and trucking defenders. In fact that’s become one of his signature moves over the years. But now he will get flagged if he does it. And what does Adrian himself think of this? Well he has mixed feelings. He told KFAN’s A.J. Mansour:
Sooner or later we’re going to be playing touch football. That’s just the passion in me that said that and then the maturity in me said, you know what, it’s an okay rule because it protects players.
The one thing I do not like about the rule is they single it out towards running backs. From my point of view, when you’re looking at the defense and there’s eleven guys coming at you. There’s so many times that guys have came at me and lowered their helmet not with their face mask facing me. They just lowered their helmet and came in and dived at me, my legs and my knees.
Adrian has a great point here. If defensive players are coming in low at your knees – and we know all defenders are taught to go low on Adrian Peterson, cause if you go high you’re dead meat – then it’s natural for the offensive player to lower his head and try to take that away. Adrian may be risking neck and head trauma by going into defenders with the crown of his helmet but he’s also protecting his lower body. It’s just a trade off I guess. Most players I think would choose to roll the dice on concussions rather than risk having their knee get blown up. Of course the rule is also meant to protect defensive players. But again, it just seems like opening a whole can of worms that shouldn’t be opened. Too much subjectivity in the application of the rule. And now guys are supposed to risk their lower bodies to protect their heads and necks?
Such a mess. Not sure I like this rule.