While the NFL will not eliminate the kickoff, the league is studying ways to modify the rules to ensure player safety.
NFL vice president of operations Troy Vincent said Tuesday morning that the league will "absolutely not" eliminate the kickoff from the game, according to NFL.com.
However, in kicking off two days of meetings aimed at reducing injuries, Vincent said the objective is to discuss ways to protect players from unnecessary risk.
"There's no question that this is not about getting [the kickoff] out of the game," Vincent said. "It's about enhancing it."
The NFL has already changed one rule on kickoffs -- moving the ball to the 25-yard line on touchbacks to give teams more incentive not to attempt to kick returns.
While touting that rule as a positive step, Vincent noted one concern is the amount of heavy hits that still occur even during touchbacks.
"We've got to get that out of the game," Vincent said, per NFL.com.
One modification, offered Vincent, is to limit kickoffs to one-on-one blocking. While the league already has eliminated wedge blocking on kickoffs, Vincent said two-on-one blocking remains a concern.
The league is hoping to cobble together some proposals at the two-day meetings among owners, coaches, former players and union officials to present to league owners at their spring meetings later this month in Atlanta.