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Considerable NFL Rule Changes Because of Players

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The Hines Ward Rule

Back Story: Known primarily for his distinguished smile, Hines Ward didn’t seem too intimidating at 6’0″, 205 lbs. However, defensive players quickly found out how wrong they were. Ward would deliver huge hits on the defense, but the problem was that most of them were deemed as ‘blind-sided’ blows. On October 19, 2008, Ward would perform one of these blocks on Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Keith Rivers. The block would cause Rivers to miss the remainder of the season, as he suffered a broken jaw. Ward would receive no fines, penalty, or discipline from the league.

The Rule: In 2009, the league would introduce a ban on such hits. It specifically prohibited a blind side block illegal when a player’s helmet, forearm, or shoulder would make contact with the head or neck area of the defender.