NFL set to revisit kickoffs ... again?

Might kickoff return celebrations like this someday be a thing of the past? (REUTERS)

Might kickoff return celebrations like this someday be a thing of the past? (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:28 PM ET

Some will consider the NFL’s latest revelation absurd.

The commissioner himself described it as a potential “off-the-wall” rule change during a recent meeting in which kickoffs were once again discussed.

“The fact is,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of an idea that would remove kickoffs from the game entirely. “It’s a much different end of the play…It’s an off-the-wall idea.”

“It’s different and makes you think differently,” he continued in an interview with TIME sports.

The iconic magazine’s Sean Gregory sat in on a meeting between Goodell and Rich McKay, a member of the league’s powerful competition committee, in which replacing kickoffs with a punt-or-play option was once again discussed.

The controversial idea, which Goodell attributed to Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, would see a team presented with a fourth down option rather than a kick off. Instead, the kicking team would have the choice of punting from its own 30 yard line or attempting a first down conversion on fourth and 15.

After concussion studies recently linked kickoff collisions to head trauma across the NFL, the league elected to move up kickoffs from the five yards to the 35 yard line, reducing the number of returns every season in addition to injuries – a rule that Sun Media’s John Kryk vehemently disagreed with.

“Enough already,” Kryk wrote last August. “If the NFL doesn't want returners getting hurt on kickoffs, eliminate the play entirely. It just needlessly delays the game, or begs returners to act stupidly.

Goodell mentioning the rule could be a sign that the NFL is revisiting its decision in 2011 to alter how play is restarted.


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