New NFL rule bans plays on which player lowers head to initiate contact

Former NFL vice president of officiating and current Fox analyst Mike Pereira says the new rule will be "impossible to officiate."

In hopes to improve player safety the NFL announced a rule change Tuesday that will ban all plays on which a player lowers his head to initiate contact with his helmet.

"For us this is a pretty significant change," NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said during a news conference at the annual league meeting in Orlando. "This is not situational protection. ... In this, we're basically getting to a technique that is just too dangerous for both the player doing it and the player that's getting hit.

"This has very little requirement to it. This is simply if you lower your head to initiate contact and you make contact with an opponent it's a foul."

Disciplinary aspects of the rule hope to be finalized by the spring league meeting in May, according to NFL Media.

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The new rule comes after NFL’s research showed a 13.5 percent increase in diagnosed concussions from 2016 to 2017, McKay said.