This offseason, the NFL's competition committee will discuss adding a targeting penalty similar to the rule that exists in college football, executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said on Wednesday.
The NCAA put in their targeting rule before this year's college football season, with the rule specifically saying that "no player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent.with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder".
Buffalo Bills strong safety Micah Hyde (23) argues with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Burfict was carted off and placed in the concussion protocol, Smith-Schuster received a one-game suspension for the hit.
As calls for player safety continue to mount with no sign of slowing at every level of the game, the National Football League is mulling implementing a "targeting" rule, similar to the collegiate one that routinely leaves players, coaches and fans alike aghast every Saturday. Some of the illegal hits include helmet-to-helmet hits, spearing and blind-side blocks. "We've seen it work to a degree". But there have been nine suspensions handed out by the league, according to Vincent. Intent is not taken under consideration by officials when deciding whether or not to uphold a targeting penalty.
"I think it's something that we have to consider", Vincent said. It's clean. That play is a reviewable play at the collegiate level. "It is on our agenda - one of our agenda items that we will discuss with eh coaches and our competition committee".