Troy Vincent thinks NFL can approve the right rule to ban hip-drop tackles

NFL Executive V.P. of Football Operations Troy Vincent believes there's a path toward a ban on hip-drop tackles.

Vincent said today on PFT Live that league officials have met with the NFL Players Association, which has opposed a rule change, saying that banning hip-drop tackles would put defensive players in a difficult situation because the rule would be tough to define and enforce uniformly. But Vincent said there's a rule that can emphasize three elements of a hip-drop tackle that make it a penalty.

"The key indicators are the grabbing, the swivel and the weighting on the back of the leg. When those three components show up, it's there," Vincent said.

On a hip-drop tackle, a defensive player grabs a ball carrier, turns his body, and drops onto his legs. The league has estimated that a hip-drop tackle is about 20 times as likely to cause an injury as other tackles. The union would not have to be on board for a rule change, but the league would like to convince the players that the rule is worth changing for their own safety. Ultimately it will be banned if at least 24 of the league's 32 teams vote in favor of banning it.