Steven Terrell suffered a concussion five seconds into the NFL’s showcase game of Week 5, felled by a form of unpredictable contact that is rarely seen outside of a kickoff. Terrell, a reserve safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, had been pushed to the ground from behind and then kicked in the head by a would-be tackler who was spinning wildly after sprinting some 60 yards to the ball.
This is the type of challenge the NFL will face as it attempts to navigate the realities of concussions and long-term health of players in the years ahead. It appears increasingly obvious that nuanced attempts to tweak the kickoff have affected its value as much as its safety.
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