NFL Video Rulebook Use of the Helmet

Rule 12 Section 2 Article 10

Rule Summary View Official Rule


It is a foul if a player:

  1. lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent; or
  2. uses any part of his helmet or facemask to butt or make forcible contact to an opponent’s head or neck

These provisions do not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or the helmet in the course of a conventional tackle or block on an opponent.

Penalty: Loss of 15 yards. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down. The player may be disqualified.