Report: NFL outlaws all chop blocks

By Vincent Frank
Courtesy of Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In a bit of rather big news during NFL owners’ meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. this week, the league has decided to make all chop blocks illegal moving forward.

This should change trench warfare a great deal around the league. It will also change blocking schemes of some teams around the NFL.

As most of you likely already know, a chop block is a technique primarily used by offensive linemen to take a defensive player out of a play by engaging him at the thigh level or below at the point of contact.

This has led to some major lower-body issues, especially when it comes to knee injuries for defensive players in the past.

As the NFL attempts to limit the long-term brain trauma players deal with, lower-body injuries have been largely ignored.

It’s even got to the point where defensive players have indicated the need to go low when tackling as to avoid personal foul penalties — penalties that have become commonplace over the years.

While this new rule will not affect how defenders react to the changing game, it will have a major impact on blocking schemes on the offensive side of the ball.

Among the teams known for chop blocking, the Seattle Seahawks and offensive line coach Tom Cable will be most impacted here. It’s a strategy the team has utilized on a consistent basis in the past.

This new rule will now make chop blocks illegal on all offensive plays, not just the ones in which offensive linemen are attempting to pass protect. Needless to say, success on the ground will be impacted by this new rule.