On Wednesday morning, NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron tweeted a video featuring six plays. The montage, as he explained, was intended to clarify what is and what isn't a legal use of a player's helmet when initiating contact.
The first three plays included are suppposed to be examples of what would be considered legal tackles in accordance with the NFL's new helmet rules introduced this offseason. The next three are meant to demonstrate illegal hits, however, the examples don't make that necessarily clear.
The Use of Helmet rule is designed to protect players from unnecessary risk. It's illegal to lower your head to initiate contact against an opponent. This rule applies to all players & the entire field. The 1st 3 plays are examples of the #NFLWaytoPlay and the last 3 are fouls. pic.twitter.com/HzfR196UIg
— Al Riveron (@alriveron) August 15, 2018
When the rule was first introduced, the language dictated that a 15-yard penalty would be assessed when a player lowered their head and initiated contact with their helmet. Violating the rule can even lead to fines and potential ejections.
As MMQB's Jenny Vrentas noted in May, the NFL has identified a trend of concussion-related incidences occurring when players lowered their helmets while making a tackle. Therefore, "trying to change that behavior ... would have the most immediate impact in reducing the incidence of concussions. That, ultimately, will be the standard by which the rule is judged."