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NFL players blast league for banning hip-drop tackle

NFL players, hip-drop tackle
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The National Football League made it clear for months that it wanted to ban the hip-drop tackle after the 2023 season. Months after reports first surfaced of a potential ban, owners approved the ban on Monday and NFL players aren’t happy.

The NFL has cited over the last year the dangers of the hip drop tackle and provided examples of it injuring players, including Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard in the 2022 playoffs and Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews this past season.

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However, the NFLPA pushed back against a banning of the tackle heavily because it further limits what defensive players can do in a game that is already heavily regular. Furthermore, there are massive concerns about exactly what referees will define as an illegal hip-drop move. Even Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay admitted it will be very difficult for refs to call correctly and consistently in games.

“This will be a hard one to call on the field. …This is the swivel hip drop tackle. This is not every hip drop tackle.”

Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay on the banning of the hip drop tackle (H/T Michael Gehlken)

Being called for the penalty will also prove costly, with it resulting in an automatic first down with a 15-yard penalty. While the NFL provided some obvious examples, there remain concerns about what else will be ruled as a hip-drop move.

What is the hip drop tackle?

Here are a few examples the NFL provided of the hip-drop takedown.

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Player reactions to NFL banning hip-drop tackle

As soon as news broke that owners unanimously approved the banning of the hip-drop tackle, NFL players lit up social media with anger.

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