NFL bans hip-drop tackles, despite NFLPA opposition

File: Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) is injured with a fractured tibia after a reception when Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) falls on his ankle during the Cincinnati Bengals game versus the Baltimore Ravens on November

So-called hip-drop tackles will be banned in the NFL next season, the league announced Monday.

The change was among three rules updates approved so far at the league’s annual meeting in Orlando.

According to the NFL, the Competition Committee unanimously agreed to amend the rules "to eliminate a potentially dangerous tackling technique."

What is a hip-drop tackle?

The NFL previously described the act as when a defender "grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms and 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."

According to FOX Sports, the NFL believes the hip-drop tackling technique has a risk of injury 25 times greater than a standard tackle and views hip-drops as similar to horse-collar tackles that were banned 20 years ago. Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, said last week that the hip-drop tackle was "something we want to get out of the game."

The technique was used 230 times last season and resulted in 15 players missing time with injuries, NFL executive Jeff Miller said. Among those was Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews, who was injured in November when Cincinnati linebacker Logan Wilson pulled him down and landed on his ankle. Andrews suffered ligament damage and a leg fracture.

The NFL Players Association opposed the ban, though, primarily on the grounds that it would be tough for officials to fairly judge the tackle and enforce the rule properly during games.

"While the NFLPA remains committed to improvements to our game with health and safety in mind, we cannot support a rule change that causes confusion for us as players, for coaches, for officials and especially, for fans," a union statement explained last week.

Other rule changes

The league also approved a request by Detroit to allow teams to get a third replay challenge following one successful challenge.

The second change is to allow a major foul by the offense to be enforced prior to a change of possession in a situation where there are fouls by both teams.

There’s no word yet on the most dramatic change being discussed – an overhaul in the way kickoffs are performed. The league is looking at an XFL-style plan that could increase excitement while reducing the risk of injuries.

RELATED: NFL officials meet to discuss altering kickoff rule: report

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.