Addressing head injuries is something the NFL absolutely needs to do, but banning kickoffs would warp the sport into something unrecognizable, holds Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Inquirer. Doing away with them would avoid the head-on collisions that make football so exciting and gritty. Players would tackle each other more often while running in the same direction, avoiding strong, head-on impacts. But football is about big men running into each other at high speeds. It’s a tough sport. Much of the appeal would be lost without kickoffs. They can flip the momentum of the game. Banning them would be a poor decision.
Head injuries and brain trauma are immense and crippling issues in football. Doing away with kickoffs would remove one of the most dangerous plays in football, protecting players, without removing the fun of the sport, asserts Nancy Armour in Athletic Business. Concussions are five times more likely to happen during a kickoff than during any other part of a football game. Purists grumbling that this would ruin the sport are overreacting. It’s a minor change, which will prevent the long-term brain damage that too many players are risking. Making sure that players’ brains are safer also protects the NFL as a whole.