NFL prohibits hip-drop tackle despite objections from NFL Players Association

The NFL has officially banned the hip-drop tackle following a vote at the spring owners meetings in Orlando, Florida. This decision comes after months of momentum to ban the tackle, which has been linked to a significantly higher rate of injury compared to a typical tackle according to league competition committee executive vice president Jeff Miller.

The ban specifically targets the “swivel” version of the hip-drop tackle, as highlighted by examples shown in a video compilation by competition committee chairman Rich McKay during a media availability. On-field incidents that have sparked discussion around the hip-drop tackle include injuries to players like Patrick Mahomes and Mark Andrews in recent seasons.

The new rule will be enforced by officials looking for three elements in a tackle: grappling the opponent and gaining control, swiveling them, and unweighting them. This will be a challenging rule to consistently officiate, but the league is emphasizing the importance of recognizing and calling penalties for this tackle. Despite opposition from players like Dolphins safety Jevon Holland, Vikings safety Josh Metellus, J.J. Watt, and Kenyan Drake, who have spoken out against the rule change, the NFL has moved forward with banning the hip-drop tackle in an effort to reduce injuries and protect player safety.

By Riley Johnson

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