Another way to reform the game is to eliminate the kickoff. The kickoff return is the most dangerous down in football, because nearly all players collide at full speed. New N.F.L. rules mean that most kickoffs now result in touchbacks, which are not returned. But the time has come to discard the kickoff altogether, simply awarding the opponent possession after a score. If the pros eliminated kickoffs, colleges and high schools would follow suit.
In addition, the N.F.L. should bar three-point and four-point stances. In both stances, players begin a play with their heads low, exposed to helmet-to-helmet contact. In a two-point stance, players begin the down with their heads up. Research shows that offensive linemen, usually in a three-point stance, suffer more concussions than defensive linemen, often standing when the ball is snapped.
There is no reason football needs the three-point and four-point stances. Indeed, in recent years N.F.L. players have increasingly opted for a two-point stance, because it better suits today’s wide-open, pass-happy style of game. If the N.F.L. banned the stances, the N.C.A.A. and high schools would follow.