Mark Andrews avenged as NFL creates controversial hip drop tackle ban

Andrews' injury would not result in a penalty

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens saw their offense change dramatically when tight end Mark Andrews was lost for the remainder of the regular season due to an ankle injury. The play occurred on a controversial "hip drop" tackle in which Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson came down on Andrews' leg in the process of wrapping him up.

While the Ravens managed to survive thanks to the standout play of Isaiah Likely and returned in the playoffs, the next injury may not end up being this harmless to the team's overall offensive outlook. Andrews' injury was one of many that caused the league to take a look at the legality of this tackle.

One side argued that nearly 25 times more injuries happen on hip drop moves as compared to regular tackles, while the other said banning the move is an overreaction that would make it even harder for defensive players to do their job. It appears as though the NFLPA, who was defending the tackle, has lost this battle.

The NFL announced that hip drop tackles would be banned starting from the 2024 season, and any infraction would result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. This rule may bring about the end of players like Andrews seeing their seasons end prematurely.

NFL bands hip drop tackle after Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews' ankle injury

Those in favor of the ban will lean on the idea of player safety. The tackle has shown to be extraordinarily dangerous, and coaches should be able to teach proper tackling techniques to avoid injuring players like Andrews with what is a particularly deadly move.

Those against this ruling will call injuries like what happened to Andrews and then-Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard a freak incident that occurs within the ebb and flow of the game. Some are concerned that players may also start targeting knees more often if this technique is outlawed.

Even considering the fact Andrews was in the middle of one of the finest pass-catching seasons of his career before he was knocked out for the remainder of the season, he doesn't seem to have any animosity toward Wilson or the move for hurting him.

It's impossible to legislate the violence out of football and prevent injuries when 250-pound defenders are running into 250-pound tight ends at full speed, but there's a good chance teams like the Ravens won't lose stars like Andrews to incidents like this in 2024.