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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

NFL talking about outlawing 1 type of tackle

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is determined to make the game of football safer for the players, but that has resulted in a plethora of rule changes. Some are applauded and others are heavily criticized.

The league will again be faced with a tough decision this offseason when they review a specific type of tackle. Known in rugby as the “hip-drop tackle,” it’s when a defender grabs the ball carrier from behind and pulls them to the ground while also going to the ground themselves. It’s the same type of tackle that injured Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard during this year’s playoffs.

The tackle has resulted in so many injuries that the National Rugby League in Australia banned it.

“I think it’ll be a very active offseason conversation, to look at the mechanism. Obviously, the ‘hip-drop’ tackle is not the only cause of high ankle sprains. There are certainly other factors,” Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told the Washington Post.

“We have noted that type of tackle that you mentioned. And I think it needs to be a very active discussion point, again, with the competition committee and others this season.”

As they do each offseason, the NFL’s competition committee will examine several new rule propositions. The elimination of the hip-drop tackle will be chief among them.

For safety purposes, the NFL had previously eliminated the horse-collar tackles and defenders were able to make the proper adjustments. If the hip-drop tackle is also outlawed, there will likely be an early outcry before players simply adapt to the new rules.


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