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NFL approves new rule to ban swivel hip-drop tackle

2 months 7 hours 6 minutes ago Monday, March 25 2024 Mar 25, 2024 March 25, 2024 11:35 AM March 25, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

ORLANDO — NFL team owners and officials Monday approved a rule proposal to ban the swivel hip-drop tackle. 

If flagged in games, the new violation would result in a 15-yard penalty, but Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, strongly implied last week that it is likely to be enforced similarly to the "use of helmet" rule, which typically leads to warning letters and fines in the week after a game rather than flags during play.

The proposal was written to address a subset of the rugby tackling style that has spread around the NFL in recent years, competition committee chairman Rich McKay said last week.

The tackling technique often results in lower-body injuries. The new rule requires officials to note the tackle if a defender "grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms" and also "unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner's leg(s) at or below the knee."

Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president, said there were 230 instances of the tackling technique occurring during a game last season with 15 players missing time as a result.

Last season, Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews suffered a cracked fibula and ligament damage due to a hip-drop tackle from the Cincinnati Bengals' linebacker Logan Wilson. He was sidelined until the AFC Championship Game. 

Multiple current and former players, as well as the NFL Players Association, have criticized the proposal. In a statement posted to social media, the NFLPA said the rule would cause confusion among players, coaches, officials and fans.

Former LSU and current Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Patrick Queen criticized the decision Monday morning, tweeting "2 hand touch gone be next lmao."

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