NFL Bans Swivel Hip-Drop Tackle Following Injury Concerns

NFL prohibits hip-drop tackle despite NFLPA’s protests

The NFL has officially banned the hip-drop tackle following a vote at the spring owner’s meetings in Orlando, Florida. A source confirmed the news to Yahoo Sports just before the announcement. For months, there has been growing momentum to ban the hip-drop tackle, with league 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 has been some debate 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, not all versions, which may make it difficult for officials to consistently enforce.

Several prominent incidents, including 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.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released a statement ahead of the owners meetings opposing the proposal to ban the hip-drop tackle. The NFLPA expressed concerns about confusion for players, coaches, officials, and fans. Several players, including Dolphins safety Jevon Holland and Vikings safety Josh Metellus, were among the first to publicly weigh in on the rule change. Later on, other players like J.J. Watt and Kenyan Drake joined in their opposition to the ban.

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