HALL OF FAME quarterback Troy Aikman once said that if the NFL really wants to reduce the risk of concussions in the game, it should get rid of helmets.
His semiserious rationale was that helmets are more weapon than protective device. Take them out of the game and players wouldn't be so willing to lead with their heads.
The NFL isn't ready to deep six helmets quite yet, but it's doing its best to dissuade players from using them as a weapon.
The latest attempt to concussion-proof pro football is a proposal by the league's competition committee that would make it illegal for both ballcarriers and tacklers to use the crown of the helmet to deliver a forcible blow outside of the tackle box. We're not talking helmet-on-helmet. We're talking helmet-on-anything.
In other words, if LeSean McCoy turns the corner on a sweep and puts his head down and slams into the chest of a linebacker or safety in an attempt to pick up a couple of extra yards, he'll be staring at the very real possibility of a 15-yard penalty.
The NFL owners are expected to rubber stamp the proposal next week when they gather in Phoenix for their annual 3-day March cocktail party at the Arizona Biltmore resort.