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The NFL has officially banned the hip-drop tackle following a vote at the spring owners meetings in Orlando, Florida. This decision comes after months of momentum to ban the tackle, which has been linked to a significantly higher rate of injury compared to a typical tackle according to league competition committee executive vice president Jeff Miller.

The new rule will be enforced by officials looking for three elements in a tackle: grappling the opponent and gaining control, swiveling them, and unweighting them. This will be a challenging rule to consistently officiate, but the league is emphasizing the importance of recognizing and calling penalties for this tackle.

On-field incidents that have sparked discussion around the hip-drop tackle include injuries to players like Patrick Mahomes and Mark Andrews in recent seasons. The NFL Players Association released a statement prior to the owners meetings expressing concern over the proposal to ban the hip-drop tackle, citing potential confusion for players, coaches, officials, and fans. Players like Dolphins safety Jevon Holland, Vikings safety Josh Metellus, J.J. Watt, and Kenyan Drake have all spoken out against the rule change. Despite the opposition, the NFL has moved forward with banning the hip-drop tackle in an effort to reduce injuries and protect player safety.

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