In a continued effort to take hitting with the helmet out of football, the NFL is considering adding a targeting rule.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that the league's competition committee is currently formulating language on a targeting rule that could go to a vote as soon as today at the Annual League Meeting in Orlando.
An owner and a GM told Pelissero they believe the targeting rule has enough support to pass. The committee is quickly putting the proposition together in hopes for a possible vote Tuesday, but work needs to be done on the language of the rule and enforcement.
Adding the targeting rule comes as the league grows more concerned with dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits that can cause serious injuries and lead to increases in concussions.
"Always we're looking at ways to improve and make the game safer. And when you look at the plays where the players are dropping their head, we're doing a good job of catching it after the fact with fines and things of that nature, but probably can do a better job of making the call on the field that hopefully we'll even emphasize more. Heads-up football."
The specifics of how the rule is framed and the penalty for targeted will be key for a potential measure to pass.
The NCAA employs a targeting rule for players who make forcible contact with the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent. The penalty includes automatic ejection and possible suspension for the first half of the next game if the hit occurs in the second half of a contest. The college targeting rule has been criticized at times for its implementation and harsh punishment.
Among rules already passed on Tuesday, NFL owners approved a rule authorizing the officiating department to instruct on-field game officials to disqualify a player for a flagrant non-football act with a foul for that act is called on the field.