*In an attempt to reduce player injuries on these typically frantic plays, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reportedly broached the idea of eliminating kickoffs from the game all together.
Fans may object to this rule change, since kickoffs produce thrilling returns. TIME sat in on meeting between Goodell and Rich McKay, head of the NFL’s powerful competition committee. Goodell brought up a proposal promoted by Greg Schiano, coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: after a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30-yard line, where it’s fourth and 15. The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession, or punt. If you go for it and fall short, the opposing team would take over with good field position. In essence, punts would replace kickoffs, and punts are less susceptible to violent collisions than kickoffs. “The fact is,” Goodell says. “It’s a much different end of the play…It’s an off-the-wall idea. It’s different and makes you think differently. It did me.”
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