NFL Video Rulebook Defensive Holding

Rule 12 Section 1 Article 6

Rule Summary View Official Rule


It is a foul for defensive holding if:

  1. a defensive player tackles or holds any opponent other than a runner, except as permitted in Article 5.
  2. during a punt, field goal attempt, or Try-kick attempt, B1 grabs and pulls an offensive player out of the way, allowing B2 to shoot the gap (pull-and-shoot) in an attempt to block the kick, except if B1 is advancing toward the kicker.

Note: Any offensive player who pretends to possess the ball, and/or one to whom a teammate pretends to give the ball, may be tackled until he crosses the line of scrimmage between the tackles of a normal tight offensive line.

Penalty: For defensive holding: Loss of five yards and an automatic first down.