In what could be a monumental change in NFL rules, VP of Football Operations Troy Vincent just indicated that the league is considering implementing a targeting rule that has been a major point of contention in the college football world for some time now.
Troy Vincent says the NFL will consider putting in a targeting rule, similar to what college FB has. Also will ponder punishment schedule for "non-football acts", which is the Gronk late hit.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) December 6, 2017
This comes on the heels of Monday night’s brutal game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, in which multiple players were suspended for illegal hits. While one player saw his suspension overturned, it has sparked a major debate on what has to be considered an arbitrary punishment process around the NFL.
The one-game suspension Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski received for his targeting of Bills corner Tre’Davious White magnified this even further.
Instituting a targeting rule likely won’t end the debate. As we’ve seen around the college football world, there’s definitely subjectivity used in determing whether a player should be ejected for targeting.
The college rule includes a player being ejected from a game should officials deem that he in fact targeted an opposing player. If said play occurs in the second half, that player is also suspended for the first half of the following game.
It’s not yet known whether the NFL would duplicate this rule in its current form. But it’s something the league will obviously discuss during the offseason. And it will lead to further debate around the NFL world.