NFL Changes Medical Rule That May Have Taken Julian Edelman Out Of Super Bowl


“The Julian Edelman Rule.”

At the annual NFL meetings in Arizona yesterday the owners voted to change a medical rule that could have taken Julian Edelman out of the Super Bowl on the final two drives. If you remember, on a 3rd-and-14 late in the fourth quarter, Edelman took a massive hit to the head from Kam Chancellor (which should have been a penalty by the way), and appeared to be a bit groggy afterwards.

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Under this new rule, Jules may have been forced to the sidelines. John Keim of ESPN gives us the details:

"The league announced that the owners voted to allow a certified athletic trainer at each stadium to call a medical timeout if a player appears to be disoriented. During the Super Bowl, New England’s Julian Edelman appeared that way after a hit by Seattle’s Kam Chancellor. But Edelman remained in the game and eventually caught the winning touchdown pass.Under the new rule, a spotter at the game would communicate with the side judge if it’s determined a player is showing obvious signs of disorientation or is unstable. Neither team would be charged for a timeout — and teams can replace the affected player only during this stoppage. The opposition also would be able to substitute a player to match up."

All I can say is I’m glad Edelman didn’t have to come out of the game because he came up incredibly clutch for the Pats on the final two drives. Going forward, this is probably for the best, as keeping the safety of the players intact is an important issue.

The owners also decided to table Bill Belichick’s proposal of putting fixed cameras on all boundary lines in the stadium, but they did allow a change to what is reviewable, as they can now look over the game clock at the end of the first half, second half, and overtime.

Here is a list of all the proposals that were rejected:

  •  increasing coaches’ challenges by one to three;
  •  replay reviews of any personal fouls;
  • reviews of any penalty resulting in a first down, with no challenge necessary;
  • replays on fouls against a defenseless receiver being enforced when a reversal results in an incomplete pass;
  • reviewing fouls against a defenseless receiver, with an unsuccessful challenge not costing a timeout;
  • reviewing whether time expired on the play clock before the ball is snapped;
  • using stadium-produced video for a replay review.

The proposal I had the most hope for was being able to review penalties, as I thought that it could potentially take out some of the controversial calls that affect the game every week. However it evidently wasn’t meant to be, so we’ll have to wait at least another year for that one to go through.