during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.

Roger Goodell says making a radical change to NFL games is still on the table


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The NFL has made several changes to kickoff rules in the past several years, but commissioner Roger Goodell says if injuries aren't reduced, kickoffs could disappear.

Goodell told The Washington Post that there's still a high frequency of head injuries during kickoffs because of the high rate of speed players collide at as they run in opposite directions down the field. He said if further changes don't help, the kickoff could be eliminated. The league has already made changes like moving up where the ball is kicked off in order to create more touchbacks.

"We think there's still further changes that we can make," Goodell said. "We won't take anything off the table, including the elimination. But we still think there are some changes that we can make that we'll continue to see progress in that area."

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What would happen if the kickoff is eliminated?

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Goodell and former Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano discussed a proposal to eliminate the kickoff in 2012 that would let the team that scored a touchdown get the ball in a fourth-and-15 situation. The team could then either opt to punt, or try to get a first down and retain possession of the ball.

Whatever happens, it certainly appears by Goodell's rhetoric that more changes to kickoffs are imminent.