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That’s the goal

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That’s the goal

created 11 Oct. 2018, 02:11
The more I hear about the new helmet rule Carlton Davis Color Rush Jersey , the more concerned I am that NFL football will be changing so dramatically that it may become unrecognizable. Bit by bit, tweak by tweak, rule change by rule change, the game could — in the name of player safety, an admirable goal — become so safe that it fundamentally changes.

It’s an evolution that, when looking back over 20 years, feels more like a revolution. The NFL, after decades of denial regarding the risks of head trauma, apparently believes that the game must become safer in order to sustain its supply of players. At some point, however, fans of football the way it used to be played will feel alienated. And the risk isn’t that they’ll shun football; it’s that they’ll clamor for old-school football, and that a billionaire entrepreneur eventually will give it to them.

The latest step toward the far side of the Rubicon comes not from the changes to the kickoff rule (the kickoff is already dead, even if no one realizes it) but from the latest disclosure regarding the true extent of the new helmet rule. After two months of uncertainty, we now know that it applies not only in the open field but also in the trenches Authentic Teuvo Teravainen Jersey , where the task of sifting through bodies and spotting blows inflicted with a helmet on a consistent and fair basis becomes virtually impossible. Depending on how the rule ultimately is enforced, the between-the-tackles running game could wither, skewing the game even more toward glorified seven-on-seven drills.

Again, the goal is admirable. But football isn’t the only violent or risky endeavor. If the players willingly participate in the unsanitized version of the game (and at this point there’s no way any player can claim he doesn’t know the risks) and if fans willingly consume football as it historically has been played, is that a problem?

Apparently it is. Apparently the NFL thinks that parents will determine whether football is something that their children should play based not on the rules and realities of the youth version of the sport but on the images that emerge from the flat screen on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays.

For more on the helmet rule and my concerns regarding how it emerged and where it may be taking the game, check out the opening segment of Wednesday’s PFT Live.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Jordan Wilkins figured the days of working in an understaffed backfield ended at rookie minicamp.

A spate of injuries proved him wrong.

When the Indianapolis Colts returned to practice Saturday, the running back took a quick glance around the field and suddenly realized only three other people were around — rookie Nyheim Hines, veteran Christine Michael and former NFL star Tom Rathman, who now serves as the Indianapolis Colts’ running backs coach.

Of course, it’s not an ideal work environment, but right now the Colts don’t have a choice.

“Rookie mini-camp Henrik Lundqvist Jersey Kids , it happened real quick and we were struggling through that,” Wilkins said, recalling the last time he worked with such a small group of backs. “It kind of sucks that we’re back at that point. It is more of a workload, but I’m not worried about that.”

Instead, the fifth-round draft pick sees it as an opportunity to show the Colts they found a value pick and a potential workhorse.

He’s not the only trying to prove his worth.

Hines, a fourth-round pick, hopes to change the coaches’ perception after struggling in the preseason opener. Michael is trying to find a more stable home on his fifth team in six seasons and after missing all of last year with an offseason knee injury.

And, at the moment, it remains unclear whether help may be on the way.

How did the Colts find themselves in such a predicament?

Marlon Mack, the hand-picked successor to Frank Gore, left Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury and is listed as week to week. Backup Robert Turbin also left the game with an ankle injury and he, too, is considered week to week. Josh Ferguson, a backup each of the past two seasons Mike Condon Jersey , still hasn’t returned to practice since hurting his hamstring on the third day of training camp.

Reich said Ferguson could return this week.

“You don’t like just having three guys,” coach Frank Reich said when asked if Indy needs another body. “But we’ve got a couple of guys dinged, so we’ll have to see how things play out.”

Fortunately, Wilkins seems well-suited to carry a big workload.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds, he became the fifth player in Ole Miss history to top the 1,000-yard mark with his breakout 2017 season. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry, demonstrated an ability to catch passes out of the backfield and convinced the Colts to take him in the fifth round.

So far, he’s outperformed the expectations.

On Thursday, he rushed six times for 21 yards, caught one pass for seven yards and sealed the 19-17 victory by spinning away from a Seattle defender for a 3-yard run on third-and-1. Reich called it a winning play Friday, shortly after announcing the injuries to Mack and Turbin.

Hines is a different kind of player. At 5-9, 198 pounds, he possesses sprinter speed and can line up in multiple spots.

Reich Youth Nick Nelson Jersey , who served as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator last year, envisions Hines playing the same kind of role as Darren Sproles and he has a similar resume.

At North Carolina State, Hines was both a receiver and punt returner and was called into emergency duty as a running back, too.

“My freshmen year I played receiver and we had some redshirt guys and literally all four running backs were hurt except for one, so I had to go play running back and there were two guys in the game,” Hines said. “That was a really interesting bowl game for us.”

Michael was solid in the Colts’ preseason opener and could start next Monday night against Baltimore.

But unless, general manager Chris Ballard makes a move or Ferguson gets healthy, these three backs will have to do the Colts’ heavy lifting.

“That’s the goal to be the starter, but that’s up to the coaches and it’s out of my control,” Wilkins said. “Whatever role I’m given, I’ll be excited about and will play to my highest ability.”

Notes: The Colts signed defensive end Ryan Delaire and released safety Shamarko Thomas, who was ejected from Thursday’s game for an illegal hit. … Andrew Luck did not participate in Saturday’s light workout — as planned. He is expected to return to the field Sunday. … Starting safeties Clayton Geathers and Malik Hooker took part in team drills Saturday when the Colts were not in pads. Both are coming off of knee surgery.

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