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Harrison Butker Will Not Get a lot of Play Time in 2025 – New NFL Rule or Something Else?

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The Kansas City Chiefs are making a surprising move regarding their star kicker, Harrison Butker. According to a tweet by Ari Meirov of MySportsUpdate, the team is considering replacing Butker for kickoff duties:

Ari Meirov: “The Chiefs have considered not using Harrison Butker for all kickoffs and instead using a player like safety Justin Reid. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub said the new kickoff rule has kickers more involved in tackles, and they want to avoid that for Butker.”

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This news has sparked questions among fans, as Butker has consistently handled both field goals and kickoffs for the Chiefs throughout his career.

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The New Kickoff Rules

To address the historically low kickoff rate in 2023, NFL teams approved a set of rules aimed at making kickoffs more dynamic and engaging. Here’s how it works:

  1. Kickoff Formation: Ten members of the kicking team now line up at the receiving team’s 40-yard line. Meanwhile, a minimum of nine members of the receiving team position themselves between the 30 and 35-yard lines, with one or two players back as returners.
  2. Kickoff Execution: After the kick, the play begins when the ball is either caught or hits the ground in the landing zone (between the receiving team’s 20-yard line and the goal line). Any kick that lands in this zone must be returned. If the ball bounces from the landing zone to the end zone, it must also be returned or downed by the receiving team for a touchback (with the ball placed at the 20-yard line). If the kick fails to reach the landing zone, the receiving team gains possession at the 40-yard line.

Harrison Butker’s Dilemma

Harrison Butker Will Not Get a lot of Play Time in 2025 - New NFL Rule or Something Else? - THE SPORTS ROOM

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Harrison Butker, known for his clutch kicks and consistency, faces a unique challenge. With 627 career kickoffs under his belt, he might not be the Chiefs’ first choice in this new kickoff world. Why? Chiefs assistant head coach and special team’s coordinator Dave Toub explains: “I’d like to have somebody who can make a tackle. Butker is able to make a tackle, but I don’t want him making tackles all year long.” Toub’s concern is injury risk—Butker’s value lies in his ability to deliver crucial kicks, especially during postseason games.

 

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