New safety rules: Chop-block rule to include expansion on run plays

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

Editor's note: This is the fourth of five capsules explaining the NFL's new player-safety rules that were passed at last week's Annual Meeting.

THURSDAY: The expansion of chop blocks.

Who:Offensive blockers.

What:Makes it illegal for a back to chop a defensive player engaged above the waist by another offensive player outside the area originally occupied by the tight end.

When:All running plays.

Where: A chop block is a block by the offense in which one offensive player (designated as A1 for purposes of this rule) blocks a defensive player in the area of the thigh or lower while another offensive player (A2) engages that same defensive player above the waist.

How will be it be enforced:A 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Reaction:"The committee, Dean (Blandino) brought to our attention that there is a note in there where it is permissible by rule for a running back to line up in the backfield when the ball is snapped and after the ball is snapped go outside the tackle box and block low when a defensive player is engaged high. We don't think there is a place for that in the game nor do we think we can find an example of it, but it's kind of a rule clean-up there." -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who is a member of the NFL Competition Committee.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.