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Trent Richardson a poster boy for ban on runners lowering heads

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 3.34.54 PM

As the NFL considers a rule change this week that would penalize runners for lowering their helmets into tacklers, Browns running back Trent Richardson is being presented as the poster boy for the proposal.

Specifically, a play in the September Eagles-Browns game, when Richardson was making his rookie debut, has been used as the example by the Competition Committee of the kind of play that needs to be banned, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. On the play in question, Richardson lowered his helmet into Kurt Coleman of the Eagles, sending Coleman’s helmet flying.

Mortensen said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants the rule passed and added, categorically, “It’s passing.”

But if the NFL is going to pass this rule specifically because of Richardson’s hit on Coleman, it’s worth noting that Coleman didn’t suffer a concussion on the play and didn’t sound after the game like he wanted any kind of protection from that kind of collision. Coleman said he got cut when his chin strap scraped his face as his helmet flew off, but other than that he had no effects from the hit.

I didn’t have a concussion,” Coleman said. “My head was fine. . . . I was fine. It got a little bloody. It’s a man’s game and I love it. I thank God for being able to play this game.”

But football is a game that’s changing, and that hit may result in a major change to the NFL’s rules.