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NFL Competition Committee: No changes to helmet rule

As expected, the NFL Competition Committee is recommending no changes to the helmet rule approved by team owners earlier this offseason.

The decision was made during a conference call discussion by committee members Wednesday that addressed, among other things, what the league has learned about the new rule through the opening weeks of the preseason. Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, released the following statement about the discussion:

The NFL Competition Committee met today by conference call to discuss the new use of the helmet rule through the first two weeks of the season.

The committee reviewed feedback received to date from players, coaches and game officials.

The committee resolved that there will be no changes to the rule as approved by clubs this spring, which includes no additional use of instant replay. The committee also determined that inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or facemask is not a foul.

As all adjust to new rule, we will continue to provide video feedback and examples of fouls and incorrect calls to coaches, players and officials over the the next two weeks and throughout the season as this new rule is implemented.

The new rule, which is designed to enhance player safety by removing the technique of lowering the head to initiate and make contact with an opponent, has been a source of confusion for players and coaches this preseason.

It remains to be seen if Wednesday's Competition Committee discussion will help referees, players and coaches have a better understanding of the rule.

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