Roger Goodell: With such a high injury rate, we have to work to remove hip-drop tackle

The NFL's 32 teams unanimously passed a proposal to eliminate the “swivel hip-drop tackle” on Monday at the annual league meeting in Orlando.

It passed despite the concerns and objections of players and the NFLPA. Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed that during his Tuesday press conference, noting that the change was made in the interest of player safety.

"We met with them in the competition committee back in Indianapolis [during the scouting combine]. They came in and they expressed their view,” Goodell said. “Immediately, we had an opportunity to go through all of the plays from a video standpoint. We had them hear from our engineers as well as ask questions [to] the engineers and our committee members.

“So, listen, it's a play that has a 20-times injury factor. From that standpoint, we can't allow that. We've been very, I think, effective and very clear when we see a technique that we think is going to increase the safety of our players — particularly at that kind of rate, I'm not sure we've had anything at that kind of rate — we're going to work to try to remove it from the game. I think we'll be very effective in doing that.”

The NFL has previously noted that the injury rate on a hip-drop tackle is 20-to-25 times higher than that of other plays.

As for spotting the violations — which could be particularly hard to do — Goodell said that responsibility will not just fall to in-game officials. The league will review tape to look for violations and then issue fines and other potential discipline.

“Yeah, I think we talked a great deal about this,” Goodell said. “And it's not unusual — when we had the lowering of the head and head-to-head contact, there is a transition period. So, we're going to make sure that the officials are comfortable that when they see something clear and obvious, they throw the flag. Otherwise, we will see it on videotape. We will see it on tape Monday and we will deal with it with fines and discipline.

“It’s been an effective way to do it. And it will not put all that pressure on the officials alone to get that right. It will be a change for the officials too, though.”