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Rule proposal would further restrict chop blocks

Titans Texans Football

A penalty flag during the second quarter of an NFL Football game between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)


For all the talk from defensive players that the NFL goes too far protecting quarterbacks and receivers, the league’s Competition Committee has actually taken a number of steps to protect defensive players by restricting the use of chop blocks. And one more step may be taken next week.

The Competition Committee has asked the owners to approve a new rule that would further restrict chop blocks. The proposal, which will be voted on next week, would make it illegal for a running back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist
by another offensive player outside the tackle box. The Competition Committee says it’s a player safety issue.

It’s hard to believe the owners won’t unanimously approve that rule. At a time when the owners say player safety is their top priority, they can hardly justify voting down a proposal to protect the knees of defensive players.

Chop blocks are still legal in certain situations in line play, but some defensive players think there should simply be a blanket ban on all blocks to the knee area. That isn’t coming just yet, but that’s the direction the league is heading in: Increasingly, the Competition Committee is trying to get chop blocks out of the game.