The NFL is not considering the elimination of the kickoff for the 2018 season, league executive vice president Troy Vincent said Tuesday at the start of a two-day player safety summit. 

Vincent said, the league hopes to make substantive adjustments to alignment and formation requirements in hopes of repairing what is by far the most dangerous play of the game.

“There’s no question that this is not about getting [the kickoff] out of the game,” Vincent said. “It’s about enhancing it.”

The NFL’s competition committee has given the mandate to make kickoffs safer or they’ll be eliminated. NFL data showed that concussions were five times more likely to occur on kickoffs in 2017 than any other play, a statistical outlier even after years of rule changes designed to reduce returns. In 2017, only 40 percent of kickoffs were returned. 

This is like saying a boxer is more likely to be concussed if he enters the ring. Clearly kickoffs are dangerous, but so is football, and these players know the risks of playing football going when they sign up to play. They also get paid handsomely. I think they’re going to strip the best parts of the sport if they’re not careful, and take away what sets football apart from the rest of the major sports.