NFL Bans ‘Swivel’ Hip-Drop Tackle Amid Safety Concerns

NFL prohibits hip-drop tackle despite NFLPA’s protests

The NFL has officially banned the hip-drop tackle after a vote at the spring owner’s meetings in Orlando, Florida. A source confirmed the news to Yahoo Sports shortly before the announcement. The move comes after months of discussion and debate around the safety of the technique.

The hip-drop tackle has been scrutinized for its high injury rate, 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 have been some concerns over what exactly constitutes a hip-drop tackle, but competition committee chairman Rich McKay played a video compilation of examples during media availability to help clarify.

The ban is specifically for the “swivel” version of the hip-drop tackle, not all versions, which may be difficult for officials to consistently enforce. However, the NFL plans to train officials to look for three specific elements when enforcing the new rule: grabbing the opponent, swiveling them, and unweighting them.

The 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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