Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Kansas City Chiefs place kicker Harrison Butker (7) in motion for a kickoff in the first half of a 2024 AFC divisional round game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Accepts New Kickoff Format

The NFL landscape is constantly changing and adapting, and the new kickoff rule implemented yesterday is another example of a historic game shifting into modern times.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2024, will be a date to remember for special teams everywhere, as the NFL announced the new kickoff format. This rule, designed to improve player safety, will place players in zones, hopefully creating a much safer kickoff system while also encouraging returns.

How It Works

The most important question is how it works.

Though new to the NFL, this kickoff is not new to the professional football scene. The NFL is actually adopting the setup from the XFL, a football league recently rebooted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and others.

Here is the new setup in action.

For a more on paper look, Eric Galko, one of the creators of this setup, broke it down.


Galko went on to explain how the new format will shift what NFL teams send out on the field to receive kicks and what strategies will come.

Roster Shift

The days of Devin Hester and Cordarrelle Patterson speeding around the corner on their way to the endzone may be over. Galko believes more decisive, one-cut running backs will be placed back to receive over the electric open field runners we once saw, valuing vision over elusiveness. Returners will be asked to find holes and be decisive rather than just rely on speed.

Expect teams to shift their rosters accordingly, valuing small running backs with good vision to fill out their returner positions.

Safe To Play

This rule adaptation, along with the newly banned “Hip-drop tackle”, shows the NFL’s push for better player safety. According to NFL released injury data, the 2023 regular season saw players miss 700 fewer games than the year before, meaning between 2 and 3 fewer players were absent from each game than a year prior. With new data and rule shifts, the NFL hopes to make its league safer for the players fans pay to see each week.

The leagues adaptation of these rules will likely come with hiccups, but yet again the NFL shows its attempts to make the game safer for its players.

About Dylan Olive

Check Also

Tom Brady Hinting at Comeback, Lists Two Possible Teams

The seven-time Super Bowl champion appeared on “DeepCuts with VicBlends” when he mentioned that he …