NFL rules proposal would provide penalize block that injured Ian Williams

Later this week, NFL owners will vote on a rule proposal that would penalize the block that injured Ian Williams in 2013.

The NFL will consider a variety of rules proposals at the owners' meetings this week, and two have 49ers connections. The first we've already discussed: the "NaVorro Bowman rule". Bowman appeared to recover a loose ball in the NFC Championship Game, but the rules did not allow for review of the play. The other rule proposal would extend roll-up protection for defensive players. Previously, the rule disallowed players rolling up on the back of the legs of a defender. The rule change will add in "or the side".

This latter rule brings back memories of Ian Williams suffering his broken ankle against the Seattle Seahawks. Guard J.R. Sweazy utilized a cut block on Williams, and as a result, Williams broke his ankle. The block did not come in entirely from behind, so it was legal. It's something offensive lines have used for years, so no one fan base can really scream about another team cheating. Rather, the problem has been the lack of protection for defensive players.

If this rule passes, there would be a penalty for such a block. Obviously a penalty does not cure a broken ankle, but if offensive linemen and their coaches know such blocks are illegal, they will have to adjust the way the way they do things. It will eventually clean things up, and save knees, legs and ankles.

Owners will vote on these rules in the coming week, although I'm not entirely sure which day the voting will happen.

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