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Mike Zimmer: Helmet hit rule will cost people 'jobs'

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Saturday's preseason game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings wasn't a pretty affair.

There were plenty of injuries on both sides of the football, but penalties dominated the game as the two teams combined for an eye-popping 20 penalties for 200 yards. For perspective, the Vikings totaled 238 yards of offense.

Some of the penalties were obvious, of course, but the game had its share of controversial calls.

One of the infractions to draw the spotlight and stir debate occurred late in the fourth quarter. Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams came off the right edge and sacked Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler for an apparent 7-yard loss, capping it off with what appeared to be a shove on Kessler before Williams jumped up to celebrate.

Then, the flag flew and Williams was penalized for roughing the passer.

The penalty immediately drew angst from the Vikings sideline, but coach Mike Zimmer ultimately agreed with the call upon reviewing the tape.

"After I calmed down a little bit, I looked at it and he was, his head was to the side and he was going to the side and if he would've just rolled, but he kind of pumped him into the turf," Zimmer said Monday, via Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. "I actually think that was a good call."

The confusion over the new helmet rule around the league and how it is called raised its head yet again when Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye drew the yellow flag. That play, which occurred early in the first quarter, prompted Zimmer to send a video clip of the penalty to the league requesting clarification, according to The Athletic.

"It's going to cost some people some jobs," Zimmer said. "Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I guess.

"We haven't had any called on us so far. It's just hard to figure out. No one has ever said to me, 'Hey. Don't worry about it, we're going to call it less or we'll get it straightened out in the regular season. Or we're going to come up with a revised rule.' No one has ever said that."

League officials spent time at each team's training camp to review the new rules with players, coaching staff and members of the media. The league even released a fact sheet on the new helmet rule after some players publicly expressed confusion.

Through two weeks of preseason action, however, there are more lingering questions than there are answers.

In the meantime, there are two remaining preseason games on the schedule before the NFL kicks off the regular season.

And for the players, it is a matter of adjusting to the new policies with hopes to prevent infractions, which ultimately hurt their teams.

"We're getting used to the rules," Williams said. "It's all still new. You've been playing for so long. They're trying to make the league safer, so we're just trying to get used to everything. It's a learning process for everybody."

Do yourself a favor and read the entire article at The Athletic.

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