Increased injury rate prompts NFL hip-drop tackle prohibition.

Players don't want it. Fan complaints will abound. The NFL still wants to ban hip-drop tackles. The rationale is straightforward. The league estimates the play causes 20 times more injuries than a tackle.

The NFL recognizes that it may be harder to notice in real time than a horse-collar tackle. However, it should be easier to identify than helmet-lowering and forced contact offenses.

Real-time detection is part of enforcement. Even if the officials miss it, especially in the tackle box, the league can sanction the tackler after the fact, which should deter players from using a hazardous approach.

Of course, that will raise questions about whether hearing officers will support the league's enforcement. Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, who appeals fines and suspensions for on-field infractions with former NFL receiver James Thrash, raised concerns about distinguishing a hip-drop tackle from a normal behind-the-back tackle during Super Bowl week.

"One particular play, this college play that happened to [Florida State quarterback] Jordan Travis," Clark told PFT Live in Las Vegas. "I watched a young man sprint down the field, grab the guy, and bring him down. Certain tackle angles are involved. When you grab a guy from the side, your body weight and momentum will pull you to the side, unlike when you grasp from behind

Their differences are huge. Are they called the same? Are both hip-drop tackles? Or rename one after another? I examine Andrews' play against the Bengals. I liked that tackle. Consider how that kid angle shaped him. He was not retreating. Trying to grasp. He grabbed the side to gain momentum. Not a grasp from behind and pull back. We had numerous terrible cases of people grabbing, wrapping, and rolling guys back. I don't want that tackle."

The rule does not distinguish between tackling a player from behind and grasping and dragging him back. If enacted, Brooks and Thrash believe the rule's final language will prevail. If they refuse to apply the rule as written, their hearing officer position will be questioned.

The rule may be passed next week or in May, when the owners meet without coaches, if too many coaches complain. The league office wants it. As we've seen, the league office gets what it wants.

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