Offensive players, along with Defensive players now, can no longer lower the crown of their helmet in the open field. The rule passed by a 31-1 margin, with the Cincinnati Bengals being the lone team to oppose it.
Under the new rule, a runner or tackler would draw a 15-yard penalty if he initiates contact with another player with the top of his helmet when both players are outside the tackle box. Former and current players have been outspoken in their opposition of the rule, which was framed on the premise of player safety, arguing that it changes the nature of the game, with others saying it would be difficult to enforce.
Hall of Famer Jim Brown refuted the claim that running backs find value in the ability to lead with their head on a hit. There is no doubt that the topic was highly debated among teams during the meetings, but it seems the league is going to err on the side of being too safe, which is difficult to argue with. Did the NFL get it right on this one?