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NFL Heading Towards Eliminating Kickoffs?

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The NFL has been importance on safety, almost to an extreme, and could be heading in kind of a crazy direction. New York Giants president John Mara seems to indicate we could soon see the day when kickoffs are eliminated from the game entirely. "We had a lot of discussions about whether we should eliminate it and if we did what we could do in its place," Mara told Giants.com. "There's no consensus on it right now, but I could see the day in the future where that play could be taken out of the game."

The impact of completely removing kickoffs in the NFL would be massive. It would also greatly impact how rosters are constructed. Teams would likely no longer keep return specialists, but guys who can contribute on normal downs and also return punts. It would also seem to dump some of the value on placekickers, who's job would now solely be to kick field goals.

"You see it evolving toward that. Nobody would go that far now, but we talk about different blocks that we can outlaw. The problem is that the concussions come from everywhere, from the wedge," Mara said. "From the crossing blocks where a guy goes from one side of the field to another, from a full speed collision between a return guy and a tackler. So there's no one thing that you can do. It's something that we'll continue to watch as closely as possible."