NFL's new helmet rule causes confusion, outrage during Cardinals-Chargers game – AZCentral.com

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks against the L.A. Chargers in the first half during a preseason NFL football game on Aug. 11, 2018 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.(Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic)

When the NFL introduced a new rule to penalize a team 15 yards for leading with the helmet on a tackle attempt, the general opinion was unanimous: 

This is going to be confusing.

During the Arizona Cardinals game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night, we got our first taste of the confusion that is sure to come. 

In the first half, Cardinals safety A.J. Howard timed a perfect hit on Chargers tight end Sean Culkin. The ball popped loose and the Cardinals recovered, but a flag was thrown.

Hit on a defenseless receiver. Fifteen yards. First down, Chargers. 

This is was the penalty call in the Cardinals game, called hit on a defenseless receiver but more likely it was the new lowering the helmet rule pic.twitter.com/yrDHosa0ab

— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 12, 2018

But the replay showed Culkin turning up field and bracing for impact – raising questions about how “defenseless” the tight end actually was.

It may be just Week 1 of the preseason, but those watching the game were still quick to share their outrage about the call and the new interpretations.

AJ Howard was a victim of the new #NFL personal foul rules. Last season, and for every other season in the history of American football. That was a hell of a play. He went low, used his shoulder and popped a fumble. The poor WR was defenseless, dontchaknow. #BeRedSeeRed

— Greg Moore (@WritingMoore) August 12, 2018

Cards safety AJ

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