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NFL Owners Unanimously Ban Hip-Drop Tackle

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New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson is attended to by medical staff during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The NFL Competition Committee submitted a ban on hip-drop tackles for the 2024 season. This was done against the wishes of the NFL Players Association. But despite objections of the NFLPA, the proposal has been unanimously approved at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting.

What is a Hip-Drop Tackle?

A hip-drop tackle is when a defensive play tackles the ball carrier from either the side or from behind. Once the defender grabs the player, they let their body become dead weight and fall to the ground. This is considered so dangerous because the “dead weight” of the defensive player often lands on the legs or ankles of the ball carrier.

Hip-Drop Tackle Rule

This is the new rule. It states in part the definition of the hip-drop tackle, the reason for the rule (player safety), and the penalty (15 yards and an automatic first down).

NFLPA Response to the Proposal

The NFLPA responded to the rule proposal penalizing hip-drop tackles. They released a statement saying that they “oppose any attempt by the NFL to implement a rule prohibiting a ‘swivel hip-drop’ tackle.”

They state that they committed to improving player health and safety, but the implementation of such a rule would cause parties for all involved, including fans.

Responses Around the NFL

NFL players were outspoken in their opposition to such a rule when it was just a proposal. Now that it has officially become an NFL rule, the response was swift, sarcastic, and unhappy.

Improving NFL player safety is a positive. How will this new rule be enforced? Will it affect the outcome of games? Those answers dictate how big of a story this becomes.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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