"To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target. You will soon realize it's impossible," Sherman tweeted Sunday while including video of a tackle from teammate Raheem Mostert that drew a penalty flag.
Sherman also included a video of a rugby tackle and said it would be penalized in the NFL while adding more context to his opinion:
Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today noted the rule calls for flags any time an offensive or defensive player "initiates contact with his helmet to any part of an opposing player's body." It was approved in March and could result in an ejection if the penalty is deemed particularly severe.
NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron has discussed the rule and provided examples on his Twitter page as a way of clarifying the rule and any confusion:
Al Riveron @alriveron
The Use of Helmet rule is designed to protect players from unnecessary risk. It's illegal to lower your head to initiate contact against an opponent. This rule applies to all players & the entire field. The 1st 3 plays are examples of the #NFLWaytoPlay and the last 3 are fouls. https://t.co/HzfR196UIg
Still, there is an element of real-time human judgment with these calls as defensive and offensive players are flying around at high speeds. This rule and how it will be enforced has already drawn criticism and will surely be under the spotlight in its first season of existence.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk pointed out "the NFL secretly slipped the new helmet rule onto the agenda of Competition Committee proposals in March" in an effort to minimize controversy. According to Florio, any adjustment to the rule will require at least 24 owners voting in favor of the change.
For now, the rule has led to additional flags in the preseason that otherwise wouldn't have been called and frustration from Sherman and others.