Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on the new helmet rule: "It's going to cost some people some jobs -- playoffs, jobs, the whole bit."
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer believes the implementation of the NFL's new helmet rule will ultimately result in costing players roster spots.
During the team's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, two plays drew 15–yard penalties: one for roughing the passer and another for lowering the helmet.
“It’s going to cost some people some jobs,” Zimmer said, according to The Athletic. “Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I'm guessing.”
Zimmer said that he contacted the league office on a penalty called on Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye to get more clarification on the rule.
On the play, Vikings fullback C.J. Ham lowered his shoulder after catching a pass from Kirk Cousins and Bouye lowered his head to brace contact from Ham, which drew the penalty.
The new rule was approved in May and calls for a 15-yard penalty to be assessed for any player, offensive or defensive, that lowers their head and uses the helmet to hit an opposing player. Players can be ejected from games, fined or suspended for violations of the rule.
“We haven’t had any called on us so far," Zimmer said. "It’s just hard to figure out. No one has ever said to me, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we’re going to call it less or we’ll get it straightened out in the regular season. Or we’re going to come up with a revised rule.’ No one has ever said that.”
The NFL is reportedly producing an updated teaching video to show teams the right and wrong way to tackle in order to avoid costly 15-yard flags.