Aug. 23—Late in the Chiefs’ first preseason game against San Francisco on Aug. 14, the 49ers running back JaMycal Hasty took a pitch and headed for the edge of the line of scrimmage.
San Francisco offensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi had pulled on the play and was out in front of Hasty.
Chiefs safety Will Parks was closing down on Hasty but Kaufusi was in front of him. Parks dived and Kaufusi was tripped up on the play. A flag was thrown and Parks was penalized for breaking a new NFL rule.
In a video the NFL released about its points of emphasis and rule changes ahead of the 2021 season, it noted this particular infraction.
“The tight end box is defined as the area 2 yards outside the normal tackle position and extends 5 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage,” the video’s narrator says. “Blocks below the waist during a scrimmage down prior to a change of position are prohibited by players of either team unless this contact occurs within this tight end box.”
It does not apply to runners or receivers trying to make a catch.
Parks was outside the tight end box, so he was flagged for breaking this rule.
Terry McAuley, the rules analyst for “Sunday Night Football,” shared a video of the play and wrote of Parks: “Not sure what he is supposed to do.”
McAuley doesn’t seem to like the rule:
On Saturday, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported Parks had been fined $5,500 for the low block.
“The first player penalized and now fined under the NFL’s new rule regarding such plays,” Pelissero noted.
Here is how Parks reacted to that news:
While it’s not connected to the penalty or fine, Parks was released by the Chiefs on Monday.