The recent announcement that the NFL will take a closer look at “drop hip” tackles didn’t go down well with many of the league’s defensive players.
Retired cornerback Richard Sherman, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom,” expressed his displeasure that the league would ban such tackles.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard suffered a high ankle sprain and broken fibula after defensive back Jimmie Ward grabbed him from behind during a divisional-round playoff game in January.
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The league’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, revealed that the NFL will have a “very active offseason conversation” about that style of tackling.
Sills’ announcement is in line with a January report by The Washington Post that the NFL’s competition committee will review the “mechanics” of the tackle that injured Pollard.
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Historically, “drop hip” tackles have been associated with ankle and leg injuries due to the way defenders drop their body weight onto 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 rejected the idea of a possible entry ban, calling it “exaggerated.”
“A desperate finish trying to stop a ball carrier from gaining extra yards,” Sherman wrote on Twitter. “There’s not a player who says ‘hey, I’m about to drop my weight on his ankle when I tackle him.’ Defense is tough enough with the rules about quarterback roughing and interference. That would be overkill.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs in a similar inning.
Mahomes’ ankle was turned when Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key fell on Mahomes’ leg as Key was trying to sack the quarterback in the first half of a divisional playoff game.
Sherman wasn’t the only critic to weigh in on a review of the tackle. Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward responded: “Silly…they’re trying to extinguish defenders hahaha.”
“This is so stupid. How the hell are we going to put the guys down? They think too much,” Heyward also wrote Saturday.
Dolphins safety Jevon Holland was also not in favor of the potential rule change, saying, “It’s getting out of hand now.”
Jets cornerback Michael Carter II expressed his disbelief.
There has been no official decision on enacting a rule change regarding hip-drop tackle.
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The NFL previously modified its rules to prohibit horseneck tackles and low blows on quarterbacks due to the risk of injury.