The NFL has adopted a new kickoff rule for the 2024 season in hopes of revitalizing what has grown to be a ceremonial play over the last decade. Now, teams will line up five yards apart from one another with up to two returners in the newly named "landing zone" which is from the 20-yard line to the goal line. This change will be an adjustment for teams and viewers alike, but does set the stage for some fascinating decisions from coaching staffs across the league. Already, we're getting some indication of how at least one team may attack the new kickoffs. 

During an appearance on Cam Heyward's podcast, fellow Steelers teammate Jaylen Warren revealed that Pittsburgh special teams coordinator Danny Smith has mulled the idea of making quarterback Justin Fields a potential returner. 

"I would, I think it's pretty cool. As soon as you touch the ball that's when everything starts to happen," Warren said of the rule change and whether or not he'd want to take part in the return game. "Our special teams coordinator was talking about Justin Fields being back there. ... We looked at him like, 'Justin Fields is about to be back there?'"

Fields was acquired by the Steelers earlier this offseason in a trade with the Chicago Bears. He'll look to compete with Russell Wilson for the starting quarterback job during training camp, but it would also be fascinating to see him potentially return kicks. At this point in his career, Fields' rushing ability is arguably the best part of his game, so it'd make some sense for the Steelers to at least explore the possibility of using that to exploit the new kickoff rule. Because the kicking team and the return team will largely be bunched up with one another, it could create lanes for dynamic runners to find a lane and break massive returns. 

Already, Fields has rushed for over 2,000 yards in his career, and seeing him in open space as a returner would make for appointment viewing. 

That said, if he ends up beating out Wilson for the starting job at quarterback, it's hard to imagine Mike Tomlin putting his QB1 in harm's way on kickoffs, especially with star returner Cordarrelle Patterson currently on the roster.