Hip-Drop Tackle Under the Microscope After Mark Andrews Injury


As the NFL tightens up the rules in the name of player safety, seeing two Ravens go down with injuries due to hip-drop tackles on "Thursday Night Football" has added more fodder to the argument for banning hip-drop tackles.

Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson likely ended Mark Andrews' season when he tackled him from behind and dropped his hips to the ground and on top of Andrews' ankle, putting an immense amount of pressure on the back of the tight end's leg.

Wilson also later got Lamar Jackson with a tough tackle near the sideline in the first half, but Jackson returned to the game on the next series and finished the game.

"It was definitely a hip-drop tackle and it is being discussed," Head Coach John Harbaugh said of the hit on Andrews. "It's a tough tackle. Was it even necessary in that situation?"

Just a month ago, NFL executive Jeff Miller said at the league meetings that hip-drop tackles increase the rate of injury by 25% and that the league is looking to eliminate them.

But it's not a clear-cut argument among players, even those in the Ravens' locker room.

"I hate that Mark is hurt. Prayers for him," linebacker Patrick Queen said. "But at the end of the day, we play football. We play a tackling sport. I don't think a hip drop tackle is that bad of a thing. How else do you want us to tackle? Just let the guy run past you?"

Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard has been on both sides of the ball as a converted defensive tackle. He's also torn on eliminating the tackle.

"It's very hard to be a defender nowadays. When you're trying to bring a guy down, you kind of have to do it by any means necessary. I do understand that from a defensive standpoint," Ricard said. "But when it comes to a type of tackle … look at the cowboy collar, when you grab a guy by the back of the shoulder pads and bring them down, the NFL banned it. So maybe this is another tackle that should be looked at. Statistically speaking, I'm sure it's probably a higher chance of injury on offensive players.

"It's tough. You're trying to bring a guy down. You go high, you get dragged. You try to get his legs out, so you do. I know it's not intentional by the defender. They're not trying to hurt him. It's just the cost of doing business. Unfortunately, it got Lamar tonight and it got Mark a little bit. Maybe it should be looked at because these are star players that should not be injured on routine tackles like that."

Ricard said Wilson does not have a negative reputation among players.

"Everybody respects him. I don't think it was intentional or dirty," Ricard said. "I think he's a great player. I have respect for him and think he plays the right way. I've never had a problem with him or heard that anyone had a problem with him."

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