NFL Bans Swivel Hip-Drop Tackle Amid Debates and Player Concerns

NFL prohibits hip-drop tackle despite NFLPA’s protests

The NFL has announced that it has banned the hip-drop tackle after a vote at the spring owner’s meetings in Orlando, Florida. The news was confirmed by a source to Yahoo Sports shortly before the official announcement.

The league has been under scrutiny for months to ban the hip-drop tackle, with competition committee executive vice president Jeff Miller stating that it results in about a 25 times higher rate of injury compared to a typical tackle. There have been some debates over what exactly constitutes a hip-drop tackle, but competition committee chairman Rich McKay played a video compilation of examples during media availability.

The ban specifically applies to the “swivel” version of the hip-drop tackle, which may be difficult for officials to consistently enforce. Prominent incidents like Patrick Mahomes’ injury against the Jaguars and the tackle that injured Mark Andrews have prompted discussions around the hip-drop tackle. The NFL plans to train officials to enforce the new rule by looking for three specific elements: grabbing the opponent, swiveling them, and unweighting them.

However, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released a statement ahead of the owners meetings against the proposal of banning the hip-drop tackle, citing concerns about confusion for players, coaches, officials, and fans. Players like Dolphins safety Jevon Holland and Vikings safety Josh Metellus were among the first to publicly weigh in on the rule change, with others like J.J. Watt and Kenyan Drake joining later.

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