Report: Proposal to eliminate kickoffs in NFL discussed

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Commissioner Roger Goodell recently discussed a proposal to eliminate kickoffs with Rich McKay, the head of the league’s competition committee, Time reported.

The proposal, which is in the magazine article, was promoted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.

Schiano, who was the coach at Rutgers in 2010 when Eric LeGrand was paralyzed on a kickoff, has seen first-hand how the play can adversely affect the safety of players.

From the article: “After a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30-yard line, where it’s fourth-and-15. The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession, or punt. If you go for it and fall short, the opposing team would take over with good field position. In essence, punts would replace kickoffs, and punts are less susceptible to violent collisions than kickoffs.”

• Goodell said Thursday the league is willing to contribute funding to help build a stadium in Oakland to keep the Raiders in town.

Goodell said it is crucial that the Raiders improve their stadium situation.

The team currently plays in the outdated Oakland Coliseum and has said it would like a more modern facility built at the same location.

BEARS: Linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $21,000 for his second horse-collar tackle in as many weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Urlacher tackled Seattle Seahawks’ running back Leon Washington after a short pass over the middle in the second quarter of the Bears’ 23-17 overtime loss at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Urlacher was fined $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle on the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson on Nov. 25, and he appealed that fine.

He also plans to appeal this one, according to thenewspaper.

Urlacher suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain against the Seahawks, and could miss the rest of the regular season.

JETS: Backup quarterback Tim Tebow returns to his hometown this weekend to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’s likely to be a spectator.

Tebow, who did not play the past games as his two fractured ribs have continued to heal, still is “not ready” to return to the lineup, according to coach Rex Ryan.


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