The tackle that left Cowboys running back Tony Pollard injured in the divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers will be a topic of discussion for NFL representatives in the offseason.
According to a report by The Washington Post’s Des Bieler and Mark Maske, the NFL and its competition committee will review the “mechanics” of the hip-drop tackle employed by 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward in the first half of Dallas’ postseason loss. Pollard suffered a high ankle sprain and a fractured fibula after having the lower portion of his left leg rolled up on during the tackle.
The running back underwent surgery for the high ankle sprain on Jan. 24, but he did not have surgery on the fibula injury as it should heal without the need of an actual procedure. Pollard is set to enter free agency this offseason, where he will a long-term deal for his services.
January 23, 2023
“I think it’ll be a very active offseason conversation, to look at the mechanism. Obviously the ‘hip-drop’ tackle is not the only cause of high ankle sprains,” the NFL’s chief medical officer Allen Sills told Maske. “There are certainly other factors.”
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was impacted by similar circumstances to Pollard’s during divisional round weekend, as the quarterback had to exit his team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars after his right ankle was rolled up on by defensive lineman Arden Key.
Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain, but played in the AFC championship game the following week and led his team to Super Bowl LVII for a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles. The league reportedly does not consider the tackles illegal under current rules.
Although there’s no guarantee that a rule change will come from the league’s offseason study, current and former players are beginning to voice displeasure with the conversation.
A desperation wrap up trying to prevent a ball carrier from gaining extra yards. There isnt one player saying “hey I’m about to drop my weight on his ankle when I tackle him”. Defense is Hard enough with the rules about roughing the QB and interference. This would be overkill https://t.co/p5mPwcZ0SW— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 4, 2023
Absolutely ridiculous https://t.co/7nV1EnLEuc— Trent Taylor (@Trent5Taylor) February 4, 2023
It’s getting outta hand now 😂😂😂 https://t.co/GrtAZeTl1e— Jevón Holland (@HollywoodVon) February 4, 2023
Find more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.