Kickoffs will not be eliminated by the NFL in 2018, but the committee for player safety is planning to recommend modifications for adoption ahead of the regular season.
NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent said Tuesday at the league's player-safety summit that major adjustments are being weighed, but eliminating kickoffs is not on the table.
Among the options would be adjustments to alignment and formation requirements aimed at making kickoffs and returns a less dangerous play.
"There's no question that this is not about getting (kickoffs) out of the game," Vincent said. "It's about enhancing it."
Owners are expected to vote on any proposal May 21-23, when the league meeting takes place in Atlanta.
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As far back as December 2012, commissioner Roger Goodell told Time magazine the league was reviewing whether to keep the kickoff as more than a ceremonial play. In 2016, he threatened to eliminate "all kickoffs" if the league couldn't find ways to make it safer.
One hour before the 2018 NFL Draft began, Goodell told NFL Network "We see that there's a higher incident of injuries on that play," Goodell said on NFL Network's Draft Kickoff Live. "So we try to look at this and what is it we can do to make it a safer play but also improve the excitement of it. And there's actually been some creative thinking that we're going to discuss again next week. Several different concepts from special teams coaches, other coaches -- we even have one from a well-known college coach -- concepts that are alternatives, but really exciting plays."
Related: Players who have switched teams this offseason:
Packers president Mark Murphy, a competition committee member, said in March that the play is too dangerous. Among the most common injuries on the play is head trauma from high-impact collisions. A penalty was adopted for any "lowering of the head to contact" in March.
"If you don't make changes to make it safer, we're going to do away with it. It's that serious," Murphy said in March. "It's by far the most dangerous play in the game."
--Field Level Media