Ravens TE Mark Andrews happy NFL banned hip-drop tackle

Ravens TE Mark Andrews happy NFL banned hip-drop tackle

ByJAMISON HENSLEY

May 28, 2024, 4:09 PM

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is pleased that the NFL has banned the swivel hip-drop tackle, which sidelined him for two months last season.

    In Baltimore's 34-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 16, Andrews was pulled to the ground by linebacker Logan Wilson on what the Ravens believe was a hip-drop tackle. This type of play occurs when a defender wraps up a ball carrier and rotates his hips, dropping onto the ball carrier's legs during the tackle.

    Andrews underwent surgery after suffering a fractured fibula and ligament damage.

    "Taking that tackle out of the game is not a bad thing," Andrews said after Tuesday's offseason practice. "I think defenses can find a way to get around that."

    On March 25, NFL owners voted unanimously at the annual league meeting to remove the hip-drop tackle from the game.

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    The violation will result in a 15-yard penalty if flagged in games, but Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, strongly implied that it is likely to be enforced similarly to the "use of helmet" rule, which typically leads to warning letters and fines in the week after a game rather than flags during play.

    "I'm always an advocate for making the game safer," Andrews said. "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."

    When Andrews injured his left ankle, Ravens officials initially feared it was a season-ending injury. But Andrews returned to play in the Ravens' 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, where he caught two passes for 15 yards.

    "Obviously, I wasn't full 100 percent in that game, but I worked really hard to get to that point," Andrews said. "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."

    Andrews, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowl tight end who has totaled 381 receptions for 4,857 yards and 40 touchdowns. Last season was the first time since 2020 that Andrews didn't lead Baltimore in receiving yards but he still topped the Ravens with six touchdown catches despite only playing 10 games.

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