NFL owners meetings: Roughing-the-passer replay reportedly won't have enough support to pass
NFL owners will review, debate and vote on a number of proposals during the annual meetings in Phoenix this week. Some will pass — with at least the required least 24 votes — while others will not.
One proposal that reportedly won't have enough support to be adopted, according to NFL Network's Judy Battista: Making roughing-the-passer penalties reviewable. Initially set forth by the Los Angeles Rams, the proposal would also allow coaches to challenge roughing-the-passer calls, similar to the one-year failure of pass interference replay.
It's unclear why or which owners would oppose such a rule change, but the call became one of the most controversial points of the 2022 season after multiple roughing calls looked controversial. The NFL's competition committee reportedly held a meeting during the NFL combine to look at more than 80 calls, but reportedly determined only three to be "questionable."
There were 93 roughing-the-passer calls in 2022, which was actually the lowest since 2016, according to NFLpenalties.com. More than 100 such penalties were committed each season between 2017-2022. Former official Mike Carey also told Yahoo Sports' Jeff Eisenberg in October that the frustrations over the calls were a bit of an overreaction:
“I think the roughing-the-passer rule is very well written," Carey said. "It gives enough latitude to the referee that you’re not held to calling it when in your mind it’s not a foul, nor are you held to not calling it when in your mind it is.”
NFL owners will discuss "hip drop" tackles
While reviewable roughing calls appear to be off the table, Battista added that the league will review hip-drop tackles — which data showed can cause serious injury.
Basically, a hip-drop tackle is when a defender drags the ball carrier down by using body weight to bring the player to the ground. Some have blamed this tackling style for how Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes both suffered their ankle injuries late this past postseason.
Battista doesn't believe there is enough support to ban hip-drop tackles yet — and the committee reportedly doesn't know how officials could call it in real-time — but the conversation at least means it's on the league's radar heading into the 2023 season.