Following Friday’s news of the NFL possibly looking to ban “hip-drop” tackles, several defensive players, including longtime former defensive back Richard Sherman, took to Twitter on Saturday to voice their frustration with the potential rule change.
The strong reaction came in response to comments made by NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills, who said the league will have a “very active offseason conversation” about the maneuver. “Hip-drop” tackles have been known to cause ankle and leg injuries due to the way defenders drop their body weight to the ground while attempting to bring ball carriers down from behind.
Sherman, a five-time All-Pro who’s currently a free agent, shared a sharp critique of the news and its effect on defense, calling the possible ban “overkill.” He also cited the added challenges defenses would the face in light of recent rule changes regarding roughing the quarterback penalties and pass interference.
“A desperation wrap up trying to prevent a ball carrier from gaining extra yards,” he wrote. “There isn’t one player saying “hey I’m about to drop my weight on his ankle when I tackle him.” Defense is Hard enough with the rules about roughing the QB and interference. This would be overkill.”
The NFL’s latest measure to better enforce player safety comes in the midst of a postseason that saw Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and Cowboys running back Tony Pollard suffer injuries while getting tackled in the divisional round. Mahomes sustained a high-ankle sprain against the Jaguars while Pollard suffered a broken fibula against the 49ers.
In addition to Sherman, Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward and Packers saftey Adrian Amos were among those who also weighed in on the news as conversations surrounding the disputed decision continue around the league.