The recent announcement that the NFL will be taking a closer look into “hip-drop” tackles did not go over well with many of the league’s defensive players.
Retired cornerback Richard Sherman, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom,” voiced his displeasure about the possibility the league may ban that type of tackle.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard suffered a high ankle sprain and a fractured fibula after he was grabbed from behind by defensive back Jimmie Ward during a divisional round playoff game in January.
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League Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills revealed the NFL will have “very active offseason conversation” about that style of tackle.
Sills’ announcement is in line with a January report from The Washington Post that the NFL’s competition committee will review the “mechanics” of the tackle that injured Pollard.
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“Hip-drop” tackles historically have been associated with ankle and leg injuries due to the manner in which defenders drop their body weight to the turf while attempting to tackle ball carriers from behind.
Sherman was named to five Pro Bowls during his 11-year career. He spent this season as a television analyst for “Thursday Night Football.” He pushed back against the idea of a potential ban on the tackle, calling it “overkill.”
“A desperation wrap up trying to prevent a ball carrier from gaining extra yards,” Sherman wrote on Twitter. “There isn’t one player saying “hey I’m about to drop my weight on his ankle when I tackle him.” Defense is Hard enough with the rules about roughing the QB and interference. This would be overkill.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs on a similar tackle.
Mahomes’ ankle was rolled over when Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key fell on Mahomes’ leg as Key tried to sack the quarterback in the first half of a divisional playoff game.
Sherman was not the only critic to weigh in on a review of the tackle. Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward replied, “So dumb… they trying to make defenders extinct lol”
“This is so stupid. How the heck are we ever going to get guys on the ground. They thinking too much,” Heyward also wrote earlier Saturday.
Dolphins safety Jevon Holland was also not in favor of the possible rule change, saying, “It’s getting outta hand now.”
Jets cornerback Michael Carter II expressed disbelief.
There has not been any official decision on enacting a rule change as it relates to the “hip-drop” tackle.
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The NFL has previously altered its rules to ban horse-collar tackles and low hits on quarterbacks due to the risk of injury.