In Thursday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears decided to ignore a newly-passed NFL rule change that moved kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had been given permission from the officiating staff prior to the game, since apparently, the rule is vague enough that it does not completely clarify that the ball has to be kicked off from the new location. However, after kicking from the 30 twice in the game, the league told the Bears, "No, you can't do that anymore."

Bears 10, Bills 3 - Bears kickoff from the 30 yard line
Despite a rule change moving the kickoff to the 35 yard line, the Bears kicked off from the 30 yard line in Thursday's preseason game.

The Bears had supposedly elected to kick from the old distance so as to give their special teams unit some live practice at covering kicks.

I think this rule change passed by a margin of 26-6 in the off-season. The argument in support of the change is that by moving the kickoffs up five yards, there will be more touchbacks, fewer returns, and therefore fewer injuries. A majority of injuries in NFL games happen on kick return plays - although the exact percentage escapes me at the moment. Although the real reason for this rule change might just be that the other teams in the league are terrified of players like Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, and DeSean Jackson.

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