Ward’s hit on Rivers still raising questions

Call it the Keith Rivers rule … or maybe the Hines Ward statute? Either way, the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Joe Reedy writes that a Week 7 play involving both players is likely to come up this week when the owners debate implementing a rule that would eliminate blind-side blocks to a defender’s head. On the play, Pittsburgh’s Ward applied a block on the unsuspecting Rivers that broke the rookie’s jaw and ended his first NFL season. The Enquirer’s Reedy writes:

    “While there is still some debate about whether it was a helmet-to-helmet hit (it wasn’t, according to the league, or there would’ve been a fine), this change to the rules would eliminate any sort of hit to the head.”

Reedy goes on to quote competition committee co-chair Rich McKay:

    “They’re allowed to block a defender anywhere, and we’re trying to protect that defender and say you cannot block that defender in the head. Just for safety purposes we think that’s a situation we just don’t want to occur. We’d rather have the blocker attempt the block in the chest area, anywhere but in the head.”
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