Cordarrelle Patterson may like new NFL touchback rule
By Dan Zinski
Cordarrelle Patterson may get more chances to house kickoffs (and gratuitously celebrate) now that the NFL has moved touchbacks to the 25.
On the face of it, the new NFL rule placing the ball on the 25 after touchbacks seems like bad news for Cordarrelle Patterson and other return men across the league. For surely the new rule will discourage players from taking the ball out of the end zone?
There’s a theory out there that placing the ball on the 25 after touchbacks will actually lead to fewer balls being kicked into the end zone, because kickers will try kicking it high and short in an attempt to pin return men inside the 25.
So maybe the new rule will actually be good news for Cordarrelle Patterson, arguably the NFL’s most dangerous return man?
Turns out the NFL has already pondered the possibility that the new rule will actually lead to fewer touchbacks and more returners getting drilled and potentially injured, the exact opposite of the intended effect.
NFL exec Troy Vincent was asked about this issue and acknowledged that no one really knows how teams will react to the new rule, which is being enacted on a one-year trial basis (via PFT):
"“It was debated and discussed at length, and I think that’s why it was a one-year playing proposal is to see: Are the implications what we hope they will be, with less returns?” Vincent said."
Obviously no one wants more injuries. But if the new rule does lead to more kickers trying to get cute, and their trying to get cute gives Cordarrelle Patterson more chances to create instant points?
Next: Emmanuel Lamur a bad signing?
Let’s just say, things could get a little bit exciting on kickoffs this year. Cordarrelle Patterson ran back two for touchdowns in 2015. In 2016, he might go for five.
The NFL has been busy in recent days enacting lots of new rules, adding seven to the books on Tuesday and more on Wednesday. In addition to the touchback change, the NFL has also reportedly passed a new rule saying players who get two unsportsmanlike penalties will be automatically ejected.