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Mailbag: Should This Tackle Be Banned?


Do you think the competition committee will look into the type of tackle that sidelined Tony Pollard this past Sunday? Like they did with the horse-collar tackle (Roy Williams Rule)? Many players seem to be getting seriously hurt because of it. – Keith F./Memphis, TN

Patrik: For me, this was as simple as football being football, as much as I hate it for Tony Pollard. A guy who was finally unleashed en route to his first-ever Pro Bowl and 1,000-yard rushing season goes down in the biggest game of the year, on what could be viewed as a routine tackle from behind that reminded me a lot of what happened to Dak Prescott in 2020. I just don't know what the defender could've done there other than to not tackle him at all. He wrapped Pollard's hips as the RB ran past him and the defender's body weight then came down on Pollard's ankle/leg as his toe dragged the turf. It's a brutal outcome and, sure, the Committee will probably review it, but I doubt they find any malicious intent behind it. In all fairness, I couldn't find any myself.

Kyle: I'm sure it will come up in those competition committee meetings this offseason, mostly because they look at most situations that lead to serious injuries. After reviewing the tackle though, I don't see much wrong with how it occurred. It wasn't a malicious hit and the defender's body weight just landed in the wrong spot to cause an injury. However, even if it did come with intent, the questions become how do you police it and is a tackle like that really avoidable? I'd like to think if there is a way, either by replay review or immediate indication, to determine if the tackle is of malicious intent, then it could lead to a personal foul. But with the speed that the game is played, it's never easy to avoid contact like the one Pollard took against San Francisco. So, I don't see an immediate plan of action taken on a play like that. It's just unfortunate that happened to be the result.

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