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NFL Clubs Approve Rule to Remove Hip-Drop Tackle From The Game

In advance of the 2024 season, NFL clubs have voted unanimously to remove the hip-drop tackle from the game.

A hip-drop tackle occurs when a defender wraps up a ball carrier and rotates or swivels his hips, unweighting himself and dropping onto ball carrier’s legs during the tackle.

The NFL analyzed more than 20,000 tackles over the past two seasons and determined that this specific technique causes lower extremity injuries at a rate 20 times higher than other tackles, resulting in an unacceptable risk to player health and safety.

A hip-drop tackle will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first-down if a player uses the following technique to bring a runner to the ground:

  1. Grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms and
  2. Unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner’s leg(s) at or below the knee.