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Rule change makes hits like Anthony Barr's on Aaron Rodgers a penalty

All eyes are on Anthony Barr for another reason, too.

Aaron Rodgers all but insisted Anthony Barr's hit that broke Rodgers' collarbone was illegal and should've been called for a penalty last season. 

It wasn't penalty under last year's rules, but it will be this season. 

NFL officials met with the Vikings to go over new rule changes. Among them, defensive players aren't allowed to tackle offensive players with their full body weight behind them. 

"You’ll see more tackles, so players will have to kind of roll to the side when they make that tackle instead of plopping down," referee Pete Morelli said, via Vikings.com. "Yeah, [the] Aaron Rodgers [play] would be a foul this year. As long as he’s out of the pocket, established and all of that, but if he’s running, then it’s not the same."

Barr's response?

"You’re playing fast, trying to attack the ball. It’s going to be tough," he said. "It will be interesting to see how that’s officiated and called this year. I’m sure there’s going to be some debate from the players, coaches and officials as to who is right and who is wrong, but we’ve got to try our best as players to play within the rules."

Another rule change that will affect Barr directly is one that dictates all players cannot lead with their helmet to initiate contact. This rule is expected to have the biggest impacted on offensive and defensive linemen, who often bang heads in the trenches, and Barr is no exception to that as the Vikings plan to use him at defensive end to rush the passer more this season. 

Meanwhile, we'll have to keep an eye on Barr during Friday's training camp practice. Barr didn't join the first-team defense at outside linebacker during Thursday's practice, and when asked about it afterward Barr said: "

"Yeah, there was a reason for that. I’m not able to discuss that. Any questions about that, talk to the head man."

Barr is the lone starter on defense not signed beyond this season, so there's plenty of speculation that his absence Thursday might've had something to do with his contract. 

We'll keep an eye on it and report accordingly. 

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