The days of Jamie Collins, Shea McClellin or any other athletic defender jumping over the line to block a field goal or PAT may be over.
The so-called "leaping" technique that Collins mastered in his time in New England and which earned McClellin a questionable penalty in Super Bowl LI may be in the cross hairs of the NFL Competition Committee thanks to a recommendation from the NFLPA.
According to the Washington Post, the NFLPA at a meeting on Wednesday at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine proposed to ban the technique with an eye on player safety.
"The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody," Eric Winston, offensive lineman and NFLPA president, said via the Post. "If you jump over the center, the jumper is in a really bad spot. He can land on his head. I think the guys that are getting jumped over are going to end up getting hurt, with those guys landing on them. So I'll be very interested to see what they'll do there. I think something probably needs to be done."
Current rules prohibit players from lining up over the long snapper at the line of scrimmage as well as landing on an opponent. But the NFLPA would like to essentially eliminate leaping altogether and sounds confident that the Competition Committee is on board with the potential ban.
"I think they're probably on board with that," Winston told the Post, going on to describe the potential injury threat of the play. "[It's] just becoming a really, really dangerous play and now especially because everyone's on the lookout for it, right? So someone's ankles are going to get clipped. They're going to go ass over teakettle, and either someone's going to get landed on or he's going to fall on his head. And they're really bad injuries, too. It's not like, 'Oh, he could sprain his ankle.' Those are neck injuries. Those are bad knee injuries. We expressed that to them, and I hope they follow through on that."