“It feels amazing to be back,” Dixon said Monday after practice. “You never know what you take for granted until you lose it. Losing football for a year opened my eyes to a lot of things.”
A fourth-round pick in 2016, Dixon had a strong rookie season in which he rushed for 382 yards and two touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 162 yards and another score. His 4.3 yards per carry were a team-high, and would have been in the NFL’s 20 top had he gotten enough carries to qualify.
The 5-foot-10, 212-pound bowling ball has a great combination of power and quickness, displaying a knack for breaking tackles and finding the end zone. He showed he can also be a weapon in the passing game.
If Dixon can avoid injury and suspension, he could be a dangerous change of pace option behind Alex Collins.
Players that returned to the field Monday
DL Carl Davis: Surgery to repair shoulder this offseason
RB Kenneth Dixon: Torn meniscus last training camp
G Alex Lewis: Tore labrum in training camp last year
G Nico Siragusa: Tore ACL, MCL and PCL in training camp last year
DE Brent Urban: Suffered Lisfranc injury in Week 3
WR Tim White: Tore thumb ligament in first preseason game
CB Tavon Young: Tore ACL in last year’s OTAs
Nico Siragusa’s return to the practice field is encouraging. If the powerful former fourth round selection has recovered from a serious knee injury, he should factor into the offensive line competition.
The new kickoff rule is actually really fun
There’s always hand-wringing about the NFL changing rules to make the game safer, but this is a case that could make football more exciting too. It’s a win-win.
Removing kickoffs altogether would be an unpopular decision. But the reality is they’re not that exciting. The new rule removes the distance between blockers, making kick returns more like punt returns.
Ejections are now reviewable
A tweak in the language of replay review rules allows officials to double-check the disqualification of a player.
This change goes hand in hand with a rule that passed in March that allowed officials to make ejections after replays. In this case, the opposite would be true, and officials could undo an ejection if a replay proved it was unwarranted.
Could the new kickoff rule actually make the return game more valuable? Last season, seven kickoffs were returned for touchdowns compared to ten punts league wide.