New rules to help save players necks


Column by Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

As weeks of NFL and college football roll by, there seems to be a noticeable and undeniable trend in professional football: more and more injuries occurring with each passing game.

Most recently, during last week’s Thursday night game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, the Patriots lost three players due to injury during the game who were unable to return. Wide receiver Josh Gordan left the field due to a knee injury, safety Patrick Chung sustained a chest injury and fullback Jakob Johnson suffered a shoulder injury so severe that the Patriots placed him on the injury reserve list.

As someone who is just returning to watching professional football, I do not remember watching players lying on the field, doubled over in pain, let alone seeing it multiple times in one game also slips my memory.

Seeing injuries happen in real time does not make me love the sport any less, and it certainly does not leave me wanting to dismiss the sport. However, these constant injuries draw a stark comparison to other major sports, like the NBA or MLB, in which there are few injuries of this severity and regularity.

Football, unlike many other sport, is full-contact, so discomfort and injuries are part of the game, but to curb this rising trend, the league — and, more importantly, football programs on lower levels — should adopt some new rules, such as the “no hurdling” rule.

It has been debated for some time about the dangers of a player trying to leap entirely over another player who is rushing toward them at full speed. Most of the time, besides the clips that end up on ESPN’s Top Ten, the attempts are not successful and can result in some scary mid-air tumbles.

If a player lands on their head or neck when falling, they could seriously injure themselves. Especially in the lower divisions and high school leagues, because schools and organizations do not have the most cutting edge medical equipment, hurdling should be made illegal and deemed too much risk for not enough reward.

Is the extra couple yards, or even a touchdown, worth risking your neck?

The removal of this move should be considered, since it is rare to see players hurdle in lower leagues anyways. It would not take much away from the sport and only stand to help and protect players.
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