Major rule changes could be coming to the National Football League in 2018, according to former NFL defensive back Troy Vincent, who is now the league’s head of football operations.
On Wednesday afternoon, Vincent said the NFL will consider adding a “targeting” rule that is similar to the one that has sparked seemingly endless amounts of controversy at the college football level, as well as a punishment schedule for “non-football acts” such as the late hit that resulted in New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski being handed a one-game suspension.
Troy Vincent says the NFL will consider putting in a targeting rule, similar to what college FB has. Also will ponder punishment schedule for “non-football acts”, which is the Gronk late hit.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) December 6, 2017
The targeting rule would be reviewable (like it is in college), but would likely would not result in an immediate ejection (unlike the college rule). According to Vincent, players, coaches, general managers, and owners were all insistent that they don’t want to see players ejected.
”We don’t want to be in the business of ejecting players,” Vincent said (via Barry Wilner of the Associated Press).
Vincent’s comments came after a weekend full of ugly incidents on the field.
As previously mentioned, Gronkowski threw an ugly cheap shot that was completely unnecessary at Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White that resulted in White going into concussion protocol.
Then on Monday night, there were two hits – one by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and another by Bengals safety George Iloka on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown – that were the exact type of plays the league would be aiming to avoid under a targeting rule.