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New extra point rule criticized over player safety concerns

Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills

Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills

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Most rules changes the NFL has adopted in recent years have been part of a broader effort to make the game safer. But some say the league’s new extra point rule will increase injuries.

Now that extra point kicks will be 13 yards longer, and blocked kicks can be returned by the defense for two points, there have been questions raised about whether we’ll see an increase in injuries suffered on extra points.

“Being on field goal protection is probably the worst job in football. I know that and all my linemen know that,” Bills kicker Dan Carpenter said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Well now they just went from a play that there weren’t too many collisions to a play now where not only is the defense coming to take that one point off, but also to add a chance to add two more to their score. For a sport that was trying to cut back on collisions, I think that you’re probably just going to add a few more on those situations.”

It is true that a blocked extra point returned the other way is a play that has the potential to cause an injury. But those plays will be so infrequent that it seems unlikely that injuries will increase significantly. Carpenter’s concern sounds like a reach.