The NFL is looking at a “probable three-year” adjustment period for the new helmet rule, it will continue updating its teaching video for officials, coaches and players. League is going with this, period.   

The revised video will be prepared by Al Riveron, the league’s vice president of officials, with assistance from other league executives. It will include proper and erroneous applications by game officials, which one source said has generated a “predictable hysteria” because it is the first time the new rule is being officiated.

The rule that was expanded in May prohibits players from initiating contact with the helmet. One influential league source said NFL is looking at a “probable three-year” adjustment to the new emphasis that will change behavior with consistent application. The source said it is about the same time window that resulted in player-behavioral change when the league cracked down on hitting defenseless players.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical director and neurosurgeon, noted to ESPN on Monday that while the new rule is an adjustment for officials, coaches and players, the head-and-neck injury data has been notable enough that “we want to send a consistent message that the helmet is not a weapon, but it is worn for protection, and it is for the well-being of the players who initiate the contact, not just the players on the receiving end.”

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The NFL is doing way too much tinkering. Fans love big hits, and the players know the risk involved. I’m all for making the game safer, but to take away the hits is going to ruin the game. Why not just go flag football if you don’t want people susceptible to injury.