Viking fans are a tad concerned about the new crown-of-helmet rule, which seems specifically designed to curtail Adrian Peterson’s ability to lower his head and knock guys into next week. But as it turns out the new rule might not be as big a deal as we have all been fearing. Adrian may not get lit up with penalties at the rate we have all been anticipating ever since the rule was announced.
The officials have clarified their intentions regarding the rule and they indicate that a certain amount of leeway will be given.
“They’re adding these rules to protect guys,” one unnamed official told reporters on Monday during a visit to Mankato. “We don’t expect a big rash of these things. We’re looking for three keys: outside the box, is the defender lining the runner up and the dipping of the head.”
The official added, “If it’s close, we’re not going to call it. It’s one of the few safety rules there is, that if there’s any doubt, you don’t call it.”
This is good news for players like Adrian Peterson who routinely employ lowering the head and striking with the helmet as part of their repertoire. I personally don’t like the rule much. I think guys like Adrian actually are protecting themselves by going low and deterring defensive players from going after their knees. I understand that the NFL is trying to curtail head and neck injuries but how much can you really legislate that sort of stuff?
In the end, the players know best how to protect themselves. Hopefully the refs will be true to their word on this. Hopefully they won’t go crazy calling penalties under the new rule. Let guys go out there and play.