Watch: Lions OL called for controversial new blindside block penalty
One of the NFL’s new rules was on display Saturday night when Detroit Lions offensive lineman Oday Aboushi was called for a blindside block, and the penalty is sure to create some controversy if its called during the regular season.
Owners voted during the offseason to eliminate blindside blocks, which are defined as “if a player initiates a block when he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder.” Officials for Saturday’s game between the Lions and Houston Texans determined Aboushi was guilty of that on this play:
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) August 18, 2019
We’ve seen plays in the past where unnecessary roughness is called for a blindside block that initiates contact around the head and shoulders (such as this monster hit from JuJu Smith-Schuster on Vontaze Burfict last year), but the new blindside block rule lowers the standard to basically any player blocking an opponent while said player is heading toward his own goal line.
Some prominent people within the NFL community think it is going to be a problem:
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 18, 2019
It’s hard to fault the NFL for implementing rules designed to protect players, but there are situations where the new blindside block rule will essentially force linemen and running backs to give up on protecting the quarterback. That could have some unintended consequences, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out during the regular season.