The NFL is moving touchbacks to the 25-yard-line this season in an effort to discourage teams from leaving the end zone on kickoff returns – and thus reduce injuries – but don’t be so sure the rule will have the intended effect.
There’s been plenty of talk already that teams might use more pooch kicks that fall just short of the goal line – instead of simply booting the ball out of the end zone — in an effort to pin returners deep.
But with the risk of the ball going out of bounce and incurring a penalty or simply going through the end zone anyway, will NFL kickers be up to the task of consistently keeping the ball in play?
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Jay Feely, who finished his 14-year NFL kicking career in 2014, told PFT Live on Thursday, that placing kicks is no problem at all.
If Feely is right – and there’s no reason to think he’s not – there might be just as many kickoff returns as ever this year, which means this rule could be headed to the shop for repairs next offseason.