Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

Social Justice

NFL COVID-19 Protocols

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up and Out.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Game Day: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The annual analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

Inspire Change

The NFL’s Inspire Change initiative showcases how players, owners and the league work together to create positive change in communities across America.

Through Inspire Change, the NFL supports player-led efforts to engage with team owners, public officials, law enforcement, academic institutions, community partners and others to identify meaningful ways to strengthen local communities and the greater society.

Working with the Players Coalition, an independent 501(c)(3) entity, NFL teams and the league continue to support programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity.

During the 2017 season, the NFL formed a joint player-owner committee focused on social justice. The committee includes club owners Gayle Benson (New Orleans Saints), Michael Bidwill (Arizona Cardinals), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland Browns), and Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars).The player representatives include Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, Texans quarterback Josh McCown, Bills cornerback Josh Norman, and NFL Legends Anquan Boldin and Aeneas Williams.

Inspire Change focuses on four priority areas:

  • Education
  • Economic advancement
  • Police & community relations
  • Criminal justice reform

Since the launch of the league’s social justice initiative, more than $70 million in grants have been awarded to social justice organizations as part of the NFL's Inspire Change initiative. This includes more than 850 grants awarded to current players and NFL Legends for nonprofits of their choice.

The NFL has provided national Inspire Change grants to 20 nonprofit organizations in support of programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a focus on the four priority areas.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL Player-Owner Social Justice Working Group announced a $3.05 million donation in collaboration with the Players Coalition to support COVID-19 relief in predominantly African American communities as part of the league's social justice funding.

Also included in the $70 million total Inspire Change contribution are the club-player matching social justice funds. Adopted in 2018 by all 32 NFL clubs, this initiative encourages clubs to match the contributions of their players and work collaboratively to support local social justice organizations.

In 2020, the league announced an extended commitment of $250 million over a 10-year period to help advance social justice.


Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice: Alabama Appleseed documents and confronts drivers of poverty and inequity within Alabama's criminal punishment system, creates coalitions to identify and move evidence-based solutions, and changes systems through legislative action.

Alliance for Safety and Justice: Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states by reducing incarceration and barriers for people living with a past conviction, advancing policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, and expanding constituencies and support for justice reform. (Former SJ partner)

Anti-Recidivism Coalition: ARC advocates for transformational criminal justice reform, empowers people to achieve their dreams, and supports people as they make their way back into society.

Courtesy NFL Films

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America supports 240+ agencies across the country as they create long-term, one-to-one mentoring relationships that empower youth to reach their full potential. The BBBSA mentoring model is a proven, long-term strategy for bridging gaps in academics and income while connecting communities across racial and economic divides.

Campaign for Black Male Achievement: The CBMA is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. (Former SJ partner)

City Year: City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year AmeriCorps members serve in schools all day, every day as student success coaches, preparing students with the skills and mindsets to thrive and contribute to their community.

Civil Rights Corps: Civil Rights Corps are leaders in landmark litigation and high-impact advocacy that empowers communities to change the unjust legal system. (Former SJ partner)

Community Justice Exchange: Community Justice Exchange is a national hub that provides support to community-based organizations that are building a new vision of community justice through bottom-up interventions in the criminal, legal, and immigration detention systems.

Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO): For more than 50 years, CLEO has worked to bring greater diversity to the legal profession by fulfilling its mission to “inspire, motivate, and prepare students from underrepresented communities to succeed in law school and beyond.”

Dream Corps: Dream Corps closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity. We bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all.

Gideon’s Promise: Gideon’s Promise is building a public defender movement to amplify the voice of impacted communities and transform criminal justice.

King Center: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change (“The King Center”) serves as a resource dedicated to educating individuals and organizations in utilizing the strategies and methods of nonviolence as taught by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to create a more just, humane and peaceful world.

Metro Family Services: Metropolitan Family Services empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal and to thrive. Part-mentor, part-motivator, and part-advocate, Metropolitan has provided essential human services since 1857 and been an engine of change that empowers Chicago-area families to reach their potential and positively impact their communities.

NAF: NAF solves some of the biggest challenges facing education and the workforce by bringing education, business, and community leaders together to transform the high school experience for students in underserved communities nationwide.

National Urban League: The National Urban League is a civil rights and urban advocacy organization with 90 affiliates serving 300 communities, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of nearly 2 million people nationwide. The League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life.

Operation HOPE: Operation HOPE is a nonprofit, for-purpose organization working to disrupt poverty and empower economic inclusion for low- and moderate-income youth and adults.

Success for All Foundation: The mission of the Success for All Foundation is to develop and disseminate research-proven educational approaches to ensure that all students from all backgrounds achieve success in school.

United Negro College Fund: UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation. UNCF works to build a pipeline of under-represented students who become highly-qualified college graduates, and to ensure its network of 37-member HBCU institutions is a model of best practices in moving students to and through college.

Vera Institute of Justice: The Vera Institute of Justice is a justice reform change agent studying problems, testing solutions, harnessing the power of evidence, and driving public debate to urgently build justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.

VOTE: VOTE is a grassroots organization founded and run by formerly incarcerated people (FIP), and their families and allies. They are dedicated to restoring the full human and civil rights of those most impacted by the criminal justice system and to improve public safety in Louisiana and beyond without relying on mass incarceration.

In addition to these grants, the NFL funds EverFi’s 306: African-American History digital curriculum in 300 schools nationwide. The course for high schoolers, many of whom previously had African American history removed from their school curricula, brings to life leaders and events that changed the fabric of America. The course covers four key eras and allows students to take control of their journey as they learn at their own pace. After taking 306, students show an improvement in their knowledge of civil rights and an increased sense of their civic duty.