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Matt Forte calls proposed new rule 'absurd'

Bears running back Matt Forte is vehemently against a proposed new rule that's being considered this week at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona.

The proposal, which the league hopes will reduce concussions, would make it illegal for a ballcarrier (or tackler) to "initiate forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside of the tackle box."

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Matt Forte opposes a proposed new rule that would penalize ballcarriers 15 yards for delivering blows with the crowns of their helmets.

"The proposed rule change for running backs might be the most absurd suggestion of a rule change I've ever heard of," Forte wrote on his Twitter account (@MattForte22).

"In order to lower ur shoulder u obviously have to lower ur head. It's a way of protecting ur self from a tackler and a way to break tackles. U can't change the instinctive nature of running the football."

Hall of Fame running backs Marshall Faulk and Emmitt Smith also have voiced their opposition to the proposal, with Faulk calling it "a joke."

NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay discussed the proposal during a conference call with the media last Thursday.

"This is a pure and simple player safety rule proposal first and foremost," McKay said. "That is the way we look at it. We really think the time has come that we need to address the situation in space when a runner or a tackler has a choice as to how they are going to approach the opponent.

"We are going to say that you can't make that choice ducking your head and delivering a blow, a forcible blow, with the top crown of your helmet. We are trying to protect the runner or the tackler from himself in that instance. We are looking for the obvious fouls in this one.

"We did not put in the language that says, 'You should err on the side of player safety and throw the flag.' We realize this is a major change for players and coaches so we want the obvious foul. There are many instances in which there is incidental contact with players as they begin to either get small, go out of bounds or whatever they may do.

"We are looking for the obvious foul and the foul where the player decides to lower his head and deliver a forcible hit with the top crown of his helmet. We are focused on the open field. That is why we moved it outside of the tackle box."

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