Ravens TE Mark Andrews all for NFL’s ban on hip-drop tackles after injury last season

Mark Andrews was out for almost two months last season after a hip-drop tackle forced him into ankle surgery

Considering it knocked him out for several months last season, Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is all for the NFL’s move to ban the hip-drop tackle from the game.

The hip-drop tackle was officially removed from the game at an owners meeting earlier this spring. Violations will now be hit with a 15-yard penalty if it’s called during a game this upcoming season. That, Andrews said Tuesday in Maryland after an offseason practice, is something he’s behind.

“I’m always an advocate for making the game safer,” Andrews said, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “You look at the last five years, there’s been a lot of big injuries with that. So just bringing the awareness to that type of tackle, I think is good.”

Andrews was brought down with such a tackle in their win over the Cincinnati Bengals last fall. Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson was not penalized for the tackle that led to Andrews needing surgery, but he faced plenty of criticism from those in and around the league for what many thought was a dirty play.

Though it didn't look like there was much else he could have done in the moment to avoid it given the situation, Wilson's tackle was the textbook definition of a hip-drop tackle.

After surgery to repair a fractured fibula and ligament damage, Andrews returned in time for the Ravens’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game. Andrews had a career-low 544 yards and six touchdowns last season, his sixth with the Ravens.

"Obviously, I wasn't full 100% in that game, but I worked really hard to get to that point," Andrews said of the AFC title game. "It set me up for a really good offseason to work hard. I've been running a ton of routes with my family working out and I feel really good right now. I feel fast and explosive."

Mark Andrews headshot
Mark Andrews
TE - BAL - #89
2023 - 2024 season

Though Andrews was supporting the change, there were plenty of people who quickly spoke out against it. Former three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt likened the ban to flag football shortly after the vote was passed. He wasn’t alone, either.

While the new rule may take time for defenses to get used to, Andrews doesn’t think that will be much of an issue after a bit of time.

“Taking that tackle out of the game is not a bad thing,” he said. “I think defenses can find a way to get around that.”