For the 2021 season, the NFL is instituting a new blocking rule that prevents defensive backs from trying to initiate contact with an opposing offensive lineman by hitting them below the waist. Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson doesn’t like it.
Speaking to NFL insider Peter King, Peterson complained that things are going to get way more difficult for defensive backs like him now. He said that going up against a 315-pound opposing lineman running downfield is going to get them “smashed” – making it nigh impossible to get through them.
“We’re really gonna get smashed now,” Peterson told Football Morning In America. “Imagine a 315-pound guard lead-blocking and running right at us. We gotta literally just almost stand there and take it, or try to fake them out and get around them to the ball carrier. But I think a few of us are going to get leveled.”
The degree to which this will become an issue will likely vary. We saw a safety penalized at least once in the preseason, but it wasn’t a daily occurrence.
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— Peter King (@peter_king) September 6, 2021
The new rule will almost certainly have a huge impact on outside runs and screen plays. NFL offenses might become absolutely cracked in 2021.
But the NFL is doing what it can to mitigate the risk of serious injuries.
Offensive linemen are especially susceptible to leg injuries and this new rule should offer them better protection.
Will this new NFL rule be as big of a problem as Patrick Peterson is making it out to be? Or will NFL defensive backs learn to adjust to it quickly?