Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL season. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.
Q: How do think the crown-of-the-helmet rule will affect the league next year? Will it impact running backs or officials more?
-- Kyle (D.C.)
A: It will affect both, Kyle. Running backs and officials each are going to have a tough time adjusting to the new rule. And here's about the frequency with which we are likely to see penalties called: Last season, the NFL studied every play from every game over a two-week span and found 11 crown-of-the-helmet penalties that would have been called. Extrapolating that over the full season would mean 88 penalties of the sort. I believe we'll see fewer than that, as officials will proceed with caution about when to call it. But it is going to take a long time for both to adjust, since running backs have been trained to play a certain way and officials have been trained to calls plays a certain way.
-- Wesley (Oklahoma)
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