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Teams could take full advantage of rule that permits pushing the runner

Mike Florio and Peter King discuss the officials' clear missed call on Jason Kelce after the Eagles center attempted to pull Kenneth Gainwell into the end zone against the Texans.

Through 2005, the rules prohibited pushing and pulling the runner. As of 2006, the NFL allowed the pushing but continued to ban the pulling.

As we saw last night, officials who witnessed Eagles center Jason Kelce pull running back Kenneth Gainwell didn’t throw a flag. When it comes to pushing a runner, there’s no flag to be thrown.

So why don’t we see it more often? It happens organically, when a player is trying to get a first down or a touchdown. Sometimes, a strategic shove has been baked into the design of the play.

Why not fully embrace it?

Put a tight end, a Taysom Hill type, under center. Put multiple offensive or defensive linemen behind him, in a stack. Snap the ball, and let nature take its course.

It becomes a football battering ram, an inverted tug-of-war. Shove the guy into the end zone.

And if a team had an ultra-athletic, Vince Wilfork-style defensive tackle, why not put him under center? With the quarterback and two guys behind him, a half ton of humanity could be crashing through the center of the line.

It’s not a crazy concept. And it’s perfectly legitimate. It may just be a matter of time before a coach draws it up, practices it, and uses it.

And then the rule will be changed.