Vikings Safety Is Not Happy about NFL’s New Tackle Ban

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the NFL league meetings are taking place down in Orlando, Florida.

Aside from the ever important annual head coaches picture, the NFL has been discussing some potential rule changes for the 2024 season. One change that is set to take place this year is a ban on the hip-drop tackle, and Vikings safety Josh Metellus has been very vocal on social media expressing his displeasure with the decision.

Vikings Safety Is Not Happy about NFL’s New Tackle Ban

Vikings safety
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) warms up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the ban on hip-drop tackles, tweeting, “The NFL has banned the hip-drop tackle, source said. The Competition Committee was unanimous on it.”

The hip-drop tackle, in essence, is defined as a defender wrapping up a player around the waist and dropping their hips, thus dragging the ballcarrier down to the ground with them. The rationale for the ban is based around injuries. For example, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews and former Cowboys RB Tony Pollard were injured this season as a result of these tackles.

The NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, reasoned (via an piece by Kevin Patra) that the tackle needed to be banned because it involved “20-25 times” the normal injury rate for players. Understandably, though, this makes the already very difficult job of NFL defenders even harder by limiting how opposing players can be tackled. As a result, many current and former players on the defensive side of the ball have been disappointed in this decision, including Metellus.

Breakout Candidates
Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings safety tweeted on Monday morning, “Competition committee doesn’t care about defense. Every year they make it harder for us to succeed.” Metellus followed up with another tweet which read, “Why can offensive players still cut you? I’m sure bunch of people get hurt from that too but it’s still in the game.”

Legendary defender J.J. Watt was another to chime in on the matter, tweeting, “Just fast forward to the belts with flags on them…”

Via the same piece by Patra on the league will go about penalizing the tackle in the following manner: “It is a foul if a player uses the following technique to bring a runner to the ground: (a) grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the runner with both arms; and (b) unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner’s leg(s) at or below the knee. Penalty: For a Hip-Drop Tackle: Loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down.”

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Jan 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions offensive tackle Dan Skipper (70) catches a pass after checking in and is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) during second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, player safety should always be the number one concern for the NFL. However, it will be very interesting to see how this ban is officiated this season, and how NFL defenders adapt to the new rule.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.