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Competition Committee wants ban on hip-drop tackles, still working on precise rule

The NFL is taking steps toward banning hip-drop tackles. As long as the league can figure out how to define what, exactly a hip-drop tackle is.

A hip-drop tackle occurs when a tackler pulls down a ball carrier while dropping onto his legs. It has caused several notable injuries, and Judy Battista of NFL Media reports that the Competition Committee is “aligned” on eliminating it from the NFL.

But the Competition Committee is still working on the precise language for a rule banning hip-drop tackles, and that’s where things get tricky: If the rule can’t be defined in a way that players understand, and officials call consistently, the rule could do more harm than good.

That’s why the NFL Players Association opposes the ban. Austin Ekeler, a veteran running back who is also a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, said this month that banning hip-drop tackles would be “detrimental to the game” because of the difficulty in properly defining it for players and officials.

So while the Competition Committee appears poised to head into next month’s league meetings with a proposal to ban the play, it’s not a sure thing that the proposal will get the required 24 votes to pass.