NFL expected to discuss helmet hits

December 18, 2011 - 10:31 AM
Steelers Harrison Appeal Football

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2011, file photo, Cleveland Browns guard Jason Pinkston (62) and wide receiver Greg Little (15) check on quarterback Colt McCoy (12) after he was hit by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. McCoy injured his hand and was wobbled by a hit from linebacker and renowned Browns blaster James Harrison. The NFL has denied James Harrison's appeal of a one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy, and the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker will sit out the game scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19, against the San Francisco 49ers. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The NFL is expected to look at expanding the ban on launching and helmet hits.

Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, the co-chairman of the league's competition committee, believes "the launch will be discussed more and more and eventually we will see helmet hits modified in the open field."

The competition committee recommends rules changes to the owners, who then vote on them at the annual March meetings. McKay's committee was influential in getting outlawed the technique of launching — when a player leaves his feet and leads with his head — against defenseless players.

McKay says the idea of potentially banning launching altogether was discussed last year.