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NFL will look at hits to knees

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Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger (36) tackles Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller (81) during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in Houston. Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger (36) tackles Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller (81) during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in Houston.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will keep a close eye on hits to the knees of defenseless players this season, with the possibility of extending the rules protecting such players.

Chief of football operations Ray Anderson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that if the NFL's competition committee sees enough evidence this season that hits to the knees are "becoming a problem," it could take action.

The committee could make a recommendation next March to the owners to prohibit direct hits to the knees of defenseless players. The owners would then vote on such a change.

Currently, hits to the head and neck of defenseless players are outlawed. But two direct hits to the knee in preseason games that injured Miami tight end Dustin Keller and Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams have drawn complaints from some players.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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