A proposed NFL rule change would penalize players who lower their heads in order to deliver a blow with the crown of their helmet.
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte responded and called the proposed change “absurd,” according to a March 18 ESPN report.
Using his Twitter account, Forte lashed out Sunday at the irrationality of the potential rule, calling it “the most absurd suggestion of a rule change I've ever heard of.”
Forte tweeted: "In order to lower ur shoulder u obviously have to lower ur head. It's a way of protecting ur self from a tackler and a way to break tackles."
Forte said players would not be able to adjust to the new rule, which would state that any player running with the ball outside of the tackle box would be assessed a 15-yard penalty for leading with their head through an attempt to tackle.
"U can't change the instinctive nature of running the football," Forte added.
Despite Forte’s rational argument, the NFL has been struggling to address concussion injuries and personal fouls related to tackling with the helmet. It is likely this rule, or a variation of it, will pass before next season commences.
In an interview last week with the Associated Press, NFL competition committee chairman Rich McKay said player safety has to be foremost in the discussions regarding potential rule changes.
"This is pure and simple a player safety rule," McKay said. "The time has come we need to address the situation. You can't duck your head and deliver a forcible blow with your helmet."
McKay said officials will have to make distinctions between the intent of a player to deliver a head blow, and the routine contact made with the crown of the helmet.
"We're looking for the obvious fouls on this one. We realize this is a major change for players and coaches."