NFL helmet rule penalties continue to befuddle players and fans

Most of us would agree that it’s important to put player safety first to limit concussions and neck/back injuries in football. That being said, the NFL helmet rule that’s being implemented this preseason and coming regular season continues to be something that is baffling, to say the least.

On Friday night, Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal attacked a screen play and made what surely looked like a clean wrap-up tackle, leading with his shoulder pad, rather than his helmet.

Yet the flag came out. Neal was penalized 15 yards for lowering his helmet.

Neal was upset, and so were his teammates. And honestly, it’s not hard to understand why, as the receiver on this play absolutely went low, facilitating Neal to also go low.

Reactions on social media were generally anywhere from people being confused to upset.

The NFL really has its work cut out to get this rule ironed out before the regular season opens up in a few weeks. Because if things continue to unfold in this manner when games count, then we’ll absolutely see some games that will be decided on a penalty like the one called on Neal above.