If Kareem Hunt's run wasn't NFL player safety violation, nothing is

USA TODAY

Published 9:19 PM EDT Oct 1, 2018

The NFL can't say or do enough in its avowed commitment to player safety — especially when it comes to saddling players like Clay Matthews with dubious roughing-the-passer infractions.

If Kareem Hunt's run wasn't NFL player safety violation, nothing is

Yet then one watches Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt barreling through Broncos safety Justin Simmons in the first quarter Monday night for a 27-yard gain — and, make no mistake, Hunt lowered his head to make his upper body parallel to the ground while using the crown of his helmet as a battering ram — and ... no flag. 

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Sigh.

Verbatim from the NFL's new "Fact Sheet — Use of the Helmet" guidelines:

"The Rule: As approved by NFL clubs in March, it is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Contact does not have to be to an opponent's head or neck area — lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent's torso, hips, and lower body, is also a foul. Violations of the rule will be easier to see and officiate when they occur in open space — as opposed to close line play — but this rule applies anywhere on the field at any time.​

"Penalties for Violation: Loss of 15 yards. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down. The player may also be ejected. Ejection standards:

►Player lowers his helmet to establish a linear body posture prior to initiating and making contact with the helmet
►Unobstructed path to his opponent
►Contact clearly avoidable and player delivering the blow had other options"

If Hunt's run wasn't a textbook violation under those new points of emphasis, then nothing is.

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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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