Since the NFL announced that it was adopting a new home rule that would allow kick returns to call a fair catch and place the ball on the 25-yard line, the response from many throughout the football world in general has been largely negative.
Adding to those who can now be counted among the detractors? The Kelce brothers.
Travis and Jason Kelce addressed the issue on their podcast, new heightson Thursday, when they each kicked off the new rule and criticized the league for mitigating what they see as one of the most exciting plays in the game.
“I think this is absolutely stupid,” Travis said. “I don’t think this makes the game safe, I think it makes it more boring and takes a lot of the excitement out of the early play of the game. This is crazy.
Jason echoed his brother’s sentiments, lamenting that the new rule will further minimize the role of special teams in football, and wondered why the league doesn’t remove kickoffs from the game entirely.
“What are we doing it for, then? Are we going to have guys, ‘Hey, I’m going to run 80 yards for no reason and then we’re going to start the ride!’” Jason said. “We’re just going to do everything for the show. ‘Here is the ceremonial kickoff that will never be returned.’
The NFL pointed to player safety as justification for the new rule, and Commissioner Roger Goodell cited data supporting the kickoff has a higher risk of injury than any other play. The rule was adopted despite “aggressive pushback from special teams coaches and players.” by Sports Illustrated insider information albert breer.
“The data is very clear on the highest injury rate on that play,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. “We have been talking about it for several years. We haven’t made much progress on this play. This was a step that we think was appropriate to address that. But we have much more work to do on how we continue to evolve in the future. Can we continue to keep this play going in an exciting but more importantly safe way?