January 26, 2023
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard injured his ankle during the divisional round of the playoffs and the NFL is expected to look into the mechanics of the tackle that led to the injuries this offseason.
49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward grabbed Pollard from behind and then pulled the back down while dropping his own body to the turf. Pollard’s leg got trapped underneath, resulting in a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula. Pollard had surgery this week.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also suffered a high ankle sprain on a similar tackle last weekend. Both plays were legal, but there’s a similarity to the “hip drop” tackle that the National Rugby League in Australia has banned because of the injury risk it carries and the Washington Post reports that the NFL Competition Committee is expected to discuss the “mechanics of the tackle in Pollard’s case” when they meet this offseason.
The NFL has made rule changes to ban things like low hits on quarterbacks and horse collar tackles in the past because of the injuries that they can cause. Any discussion this offseason does not mean they will follow the same path, but it looks like it could be under consideration for the future.