NFL unanimously approves ban of 'hip-drop' tackles, expands number of replay challenges

The NFL began adopting rules changes Monday morning, including a ban on dangerous “hip-drop” tackles, which a league study determined are significantly more responsible for lower-body injuries than traditional tackles.

As defined in the NFL rulebook, a hip-drop tackle is when a defender grabs the runner with both hands or wraps him with both arms, and unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body. That can trap the runner’s legs at or below the knee.

The rule change was passed unanimously. The foul will result in a loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down.

Team owners, participating in the league’s annual meetings, also approved a proposal by the Detroit Lions to permit a coach a third replay challenge if successful on at least one of two previous challenges.

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