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NFL: 5 Rules Changes That Can Save Football

5 Rules Changes That Can Save Football

Football Fans
USA TODAY SPORTS-Kirby Lee

Because we are just starting to discover how dangerous the game is, football will look much different in 20 years than it does today. At best, it will be a niche sport like NASCAR: wildly popular with core fans but largely ignored by everyone else. At worst, the game may be banned entirely. What are some rules changes that can keep players on the gridiron?

5. Change Helmet

Helmet collision
USA TODAY SPORTS-Chris Nicoll

5. Change Helmet

Helmet Collision
USA TODAY SPORTS-Chris Nicoll

It may seem counter-intuitive to reduce the amount of safety equipment, but helmets have become weapons. Change helmets to batting-style headgear, and this problem goes away.

4. Change the Formations

Football formation
USA TODAY SPORTS-Tommy Gilligan

4. Change the Formations

Football formation
USA TODAY SPORTS-Tommy Gilligan

Eliminate wide receivers and defensive backs who run around the field colliding into one another at full speed. Have everyone bunched together at the line of scrimmage, and that should slow the game down.

3. Change Personal Foul Rules

NFL Referee
USA TODAY SPORTS-Matt Kardozian

3. Change Personal Foul Rules

NFL Referee
USA TODAY SPORTS-Matt Kardozian

Soccer has a yellow card and red card system, and football should do the same. Too many warnings, and you're suspended for the next game; a flagrant foul, and you're kicked out of the game and cannot be replaced.

2. Eliminate Kicking Game

NFL Kickoff
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

2. Eliminate Kicking Game

NFL Kickoff
USA TODAY SPORTS-Christopher Hanewinckel

Field goals and extra points can stay, but punts and kickoffs have to go. No one would miss either one. Eliminating the punt would increase scoring, while more and more kickoffs are touchbacks.

1. Expand the Rosters

Florida State Seminoles
USA TODAY SPORTS-Melina Vastola

1. Expand the Rosters

Florida State Seminoles
USA TODAY SPORTS-Melina Vastola

Put more guys on the sidelines and limit their number of plays, so all players (including quarterbacks) get the equivalent of a game or two off.

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