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Competition Committee has no proposals to ban hip-drop tackles

Mike Florio and Chris Simms argue the pros and cons to the USFL and XFL revising the touchback rule on fumbles to give the ball back to the offense, and how it relates to the current NFL rules.

After injuries to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Cowboys running back Tony Pollard during the playoffs, questions were raised about whether so-called “hip-drop tackles” should be banned. But it appears that the NFL plans to take no action against the technique.

The NFL Competition Committee has released its rule change proposals for this year, and nothing about hip-drop tackles was included. No team proposed a ban on hip-drop tackles either. It’s possible that the owners could make a rule change on their own, but there’s been no indication that any owners plan to propose such a rule.

Hip-drop tackles, in which the defender grabs the ball carrier from behind and then pulls him down while dropping the tackler’s own body to the ground, was banned by the National Rugby League in Australia because of the injuries it caused. But a rule against the technique in football has been criticized as difficult to define clearly and enforce consistently.

The NFL Players Association came out against any ban, saying it “places defensive players in an impossible position by creating indecision in the mind of any tackling player, puts officials in an unreasonable situation that will result in inconsistent calls on the field, and confuses our fans.”

It appears that that’s the consensus opinion, and no such rule change is coming, at least not this year.