Will the NFL ban the ‘Tush Push’? Why Roger Goodell favors removing Eagles’ hyper-effective QB sneak

The Eagles have managed to become one of the NFL’s most effective short-yardage teams over the last couple of seasons. It’s all thanks to the unique quarterback sneak that they can run with Jalen Hurts.

The play — which has become colloquially known as the “Tush Push” or the “Brotherly Shove” — involves Hurts plowing forward like a normal quarterback sneak. However, several of his teammates in the backfield join in pushing him from behind to get him across the line to gain.

Philadelphia has excelled at running the play. Hurts’ strength combined with the momentum generated by his teammates has often allowed the team to easily pick up a few yards. And during their run to the Super Bowl 58, they converted on 37 of 41 occasions during which they used the play, per the Associated Press.

The Eagles’ success with the tush push has continued into 2023, and that’s one of the reasons they have posted a league-best record of 10-1 through 12 weeks.

However, the play may not be long for the NFL. The league’s competition committee debated banning it during the 2023 offseason, and it seems likely that those conversations will resume in 2024.

MORE: Why Jalen Hurts’ QB sneak is legal… for now

And it appears that proponents of banning the play may have a key figure in their corner: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Will the NFL ban the ‘Tush Push’?

The NFL hasn’t made any definitive decisions about the future of the tush push. However, as Dianna Russini of The Athletic notes, there are some obstacles it will have to overcome to survive long term.

“It’s apparent this is going to be heavily debated among the competition committee made up of owners, general managers and coaches,” Russini writes. “It’s important to note that there isn’t a single person from the Eagles organization on the competition committee. However, three of their divisional opponents are represented: New York Giants owner John Mara, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones and Washington head coach Ron Rivera.”

If those weren’t enough, it appears that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell favors the eventual elimination of the play as well, per Russini.

Though it will all come down to the voting, the most important opinion about the play may come from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. I was told by a league source that Goodell wants to see this play removed from the game permanently.

The NFL has denied that it has taken a stance on the “Tush Push,” per Mark Maske, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise for Goodell to prefer this outcome. In theory, the play comes with notable player safety concerns, as the Giants learned this the hard way when two of their offensive players were injured while running the play earlier in the season.

MORE: How the Eagles used the ‘Brotherly Shove’ play to beat the Dolphins

That said, Russini reports that league sources have told her “injuries aren’t happening as much” during the tush push “despite big bodies ramming into each other every week when the play is used.”

So, this may be more about eliminating a significant competitive advantage under the guise of player safety than anything else.


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