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Lunchbreak: NFL Owners Tweak Kickoff Rule for 2018 Season

Kickoffs will look a little bit different for the 2018 season.

NFL owners agreed Tuesday afternoon on a proposal for a one-year trial run to try and make the play safer.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com wrote about the tweaks to the kickoff that players and coaches will adjust to this upcoming season.

Seifert wrote that the primary changes include:

—The elimination of running starts for kickoff coverage teams

—A requirement that eight of the 11 men on the return team must be aligned in the "setup zone" within 15 yards of the ball

—No blocking within the "setup zone" until after the ball touches the ground if it is not first caught

—The elimination of two-man wedge blocks

—Kickoff team must have five men lined up on either side of the ball, a move that will limit schemes designed to get free runners in coverage down the field.

Seifert added that a group of nine special-teams coaches authored the bulk of the plan earlier this month.

The new rule will be in effect for the 2018 season but will be evaluated in a year.

NFL Football Operations tweeted an animated video of the new kickoff rules: <center>

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Another rule change approved by Owners is making it a foul to lower the head and use the helmet to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. <center>blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">

Following today’s vote at the @NFL Spring League Meetings, here’s everything you need to know about the new kickoff rules for the upcoming 2018 season. The rule will be reevaluated next offseason. pic.twitter.com/YubLyMBR4g </center><center>— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) May 22, 2018</center><center> </center>

Vikings have 5th-ranked offensive trio A quarterback, running back and wide receiver are three main pieces that help an offense go.

Not many teams can stack up with who the Vikings can roll out at those positions.

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports recently ranked the top offensive trios in the NFL, and slotted Minnesota fifth based on the combination of Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen.

Wilson wrote:

The Vikings let Case Keenum walk after an MVP-level season and replaced him with Cousins, who had a down 2017 campaign after ranking third in total value among all passers in 2016 behind Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. There's every reason to believe he'll be successful in Minnesota, where he'll have a great defense and dynamic offensive playmakers. Cook returns after tearing his ACL (he averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 8.2 yards per catch in four games before the injury), and Thielen has emerged as a top-10 wide receiver. And if you prefer Stefon Diggs as the Vikes' No. 1, he ranks ninth in total value.

Cousins signed with Minnesota as a free agent in March after throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns over the past three seasons as Washington’s starter.

Cook was a second-round pick in 2017 who rushed for 354 yards in three-plus games before being lost to a torn ACL.

Thielen made his first Pro Bowl and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors after a 2017 season that saw him set career highs with 91 receptions for 1,276 yards while adding four touchdowns.

The Vikings were the highest-ranked NFC North team. Detroit was 11th, Green Bay was slotted at 14th and Chicago was 26th.

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