NFL may expand the definition of a “launch,” for more protection of defenseless players
The NFL may add two words to the definition of a “launch” in the official rulebook, and those two words could result in more penalty flags being thrown -- and, the league hopes, fewer injuries.
It is illegal to launch into an opponent who is in a defenseless posture, and currently the definition of a launch is when a player “leaves both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent.”
Under the rule proposed by the Competition Committee, two words would be added to the definition of a launch, so that it would read, “leaves one or both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent.”
The rule would need at least 24 of the 32 teams to vote for it in order to pass. Player safety rule proposals usually get the approval of the owners, and so it seems likely that this definition of “launch” will pass.