Life as a defender in modern football is hard, especially in the NFL. Not only are offensive players as talented as ever, with the most complex schemes of all time, but there are several rules that make it nearly impossible for NFL defenders to adequately do their job. Unfortunately, it seems like their are even more rules on the way that will complicate things for defenders.
At a recent league meeting, it was reported that the NFL is considering implementing a rule that would make the hip-drop tackle illegal. The hip-drop tackle is the name the league has given the maneuver where a defender wraps his arms around a ball carrier’s torso, then drops down to the ground to pull the runner down. The move can lead to a lot of lower-body injuries, and according to the league, it results in 25x the injuries of other kind of tackles.
So like many of the rules implemented in today’s game, the purpose would be to make the game safer. The problem is, these rules make the game harder for defenders. After it was announced that the league was considering implementing this rule, Indianapolis Colts star linebacker Zaire Franklin took to social media to make his grievance known— something he’s very comfortable doing. Franklin argued that football players have no idea what a hip-drop tackle is, they’re just trying their best to get ball carriers to the ground. He ended his statement by asking, “Who’s fighting for the players?”
Zaire Franklin is not a fan of the NFL possibly implementing a hip drop tackle rule
Franklin knows a lot about tackles; he’s currently leading the NFL with 77 total tackles. He also has every right to be frustrated. A rule like this would put defenders in an incredibly tough position. The nature of the tackle isn’t even malicious. Sure, it may lead to injuries, but anytime you put 22 people on a field together and tell them to run into each other full speed, people will get hurt. That’s, unfortunately, the nature of the game.
Making routine tackles illegal, in the name of player safety, shouldn’t be the path the league takes. Defenders are already playing with their backs against the wall because of the many other rules that force them to slow down and overthink before attempting to make a play. There doesn’t need to be another unnecessary one added into the equation.