Jerry Angelo says potential kickoff rule changes go beyond Devin Hester

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The NFL’s competition committee will present to owners later today numerous rules changes, including several geared toward eliminating injuries on kickoff returns.

But Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said his team’s opposition to those changes go beyond the obvious.

“It’s not just because of Devin Hester,” Angelo told the Sun-Times. “It’s because it’s one of the most exciting plays in football.”

Angelo is right, of course. But the plays also lead to many injuries. Among the changes: moving the kickoff up to the 35-yard line from the 30 and bringing a touchback to the 25 instead of the 20. Wedge blocks would be eliminated altogether.

“The injury rate on kickoffs remains a concern for us,” said Rich McKay, the Atlanta Falcons president who is the chair of the competition committee.

Arguably the best returner in NFL history, Hester didn’t sound to enthusiastic about the proposed changes. On Twitter Sunday, Hester wrote, “I see the NFL is trying to take the kickoff game out.

“They already punt out of bounds. What’s next?”

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