Cam Newton, who believes his deadlocks hindered his opportunities in the league, has recently shared his stance about hip-drop tackle. There’s a current NFL debate about whether to disallow the hip-drop tackle, characterized by a defender encircling and using their weight to fall on an offensive player’s legs.
While the matter is under discussion, the recent increase in surgeries has compelled Cam Newton to advocate for banning the hip-drop tackle.
Newton proposes NFL hip-drop tackle ban
In a recent game, the Patriots’ Rhamondre Stevenson suffered a high ankle sprain due to a hip-drop tackle by Chargers linebacker Tuli Tuipulotu.
Cam Newton, who recently exposed Jimmy Clausen, after watching the clip, argued that the art of tackling, with a focus on head-up, running through feet, and bringing down the player, is not being taught anymore.
“We’re not teaching the art of tackling anymore, where head up, run through your feet and get him down,” Cam Newton said on his “4th & 1” podcast.
He emphasized the risk of injuries, particularly to hips and legs, associated with the hip-drop tackle, calling for measures to enhance player safety.
“The hip-drop is they tackle and then they just sit down. Like, you can get your legs caught up under that sit and that’s where the hip injuries, the leg injures, all these injuries happen. There’s certain parameters where you can avoid, but that situation right there, we’re talking about player safety.”
Newton rejected the argument that the inherent violence of football justifies keeping the hip-drop tackle legal, asserting that safety measures can coexist with the sport.
“And then people are going to say, ‘It’s football. We need to keep football football. Don’t play football then,’” Newton said. “But that’s still not to say we can’t keep it safe. Like, you can’t hit the dude in the back of the head even though ya’ll say ya’ll boxing. You have safety measures to keep players safe. And as a fan and just observant of this sport, it’s disgusting.”
Despite not currently playing in the NFL, Cam Newton explicitly advocated for the ban of hip-drop tackles for the safety of players.
NFL has suffered “hip-drop” tackle injuries this season
This season, dozens of players have sustained injuries from perceived hip-drop tackles, with notable cases like Rhamondre Stevenson and the Ravens’ Mark Andrews intensifying the discussion.
Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson faced potential weeks on the sidelines due to an ankle sprain suffered in Week 13. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, on the other hand, endured a potentially season-ending ankle injury and fibula fracture in Week 11.
The NFL acknowledged the issue and stated that they are planning to address the hip-drop tackle in the offseason, considering its impact on injury rates and player health.
The league previously considered eliminating the hip-drop tackle after the 2022 season but decided to keep it. However, the effort to ban it will intensify after the current season.