The recent announcement that the NFL will take a closer look at “hip-drop” tackles did not go over well with many defensive players in the league.
Retired cornerback Richard Sherman, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom,” expressed his displeasure at the prospect of the league banning such tackles.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard suffered a high sprained ankle and a fractured fibula after being tackled from behind by defensive back Jimmy Ward in a divisional round playoff game in January.
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Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Pollard (20) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Ward and injured during an NFL divisional round playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 22, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, revealed that the NFL will have “very active offseason conversations” about tackling that style.
Seals’ announcement coincided with a January report by The Washington Post that the NFL’s competition committee would review the “mechanics” of the tackle that injured Pollard.
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“Hip-drop” tackles have historically been associated with ankle and foot injuries due to the manner in which defenders drop their body weight onto the turf while attempting to tackle the ball carrier from behind.
Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Pollard (20) is assisted by medical staff after a concussion during the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFC divisional playoff game at Levi’s Stadium, 22, 2023, in Santa Clara, California. (Cunningham/Getty Images)
Sherman was named to five Pro Bowls during his 11-year career. He spent the season as a television analyst for “Thursday Night Football.” He pushed back against the idea of a possible ban on tackles, calling it “overkill.”
“A frustrating wrap trying to prevent a ball carrier from gaining extra yards,” Sherman wrote on Twitter. “A player doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m going to put my weight on his ankle when I tackle him.” Defenses are tough enough with QBs and interference rules. That would be overkill.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in a similar tackle in the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key fell on Mahomes’ leg, rolling Mahomes’ ankle as Key tried to strip the quarterback in the first half of a divisional playoff game.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) holds his ankle in pain during the first quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Jan. 21, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (Sportswear Icon via Scott Winters/Getty Images)
Sherman was not the only critic to weigh in on Tackle’s review. Steelers defensive tackle Cam Hayward replied, “So dumb… they’re trying to obliterate defenders lol.”
“This is so stupid. How the heck are we ever going to get guys on the ground. They think too much,” Heyward also wrote the previous Saturday.
Dolphins safety Jevon Holland also wasn’t in favor of a potential rule change, saying, “It’s getting out of hand right now.”
Jets cornerback Michael Carter expressed second disbelief.
There has been no official decision to change a rule dealing with “hip-drop” tackles.
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The NFL previously changed its rules to ban horse-collar tackles and low hits on the quarterback because of the risk of injury.
Chantz Martin is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.
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