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

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Signals Intelligence

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

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.

Four teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads in 2020 as part of the International Player Pathway program.

Isaac Alarcon, a former Mexican college football national champion, will join the Dallas Cowboys. David Bada, a former defensive end for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League, will join the Washington Redskins. Australian Matt Leo, who played football for the Iowa State Cyclones, will join the Philadelphia Eagles and former Austrian U19 national team running back Sandro Platzgummer will join the New York Giants.

The four NFC East clubs will carry these players on their roster until the end of training camp. At that time, the players are eligible for an international player practice squad exemption, granting the team an extra practice squad member that is ineligible to be activated during the 2020 season.

The NFC East was chosen to receive these players in a random draw.

After the NFL’s International Combine in Germany last October, the players received additional training and development alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida at IMG Academy this winter.

The International Player Pathway Program was instituted in 2017 and provides international athletes with the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Three players that participated in the program in 2019 — Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots), Durval Queiroz Neto (Miami Dolphins) and Christian Wade (Buffalo Bills) — will return to their AFC East teams for the upcoming season.

New 2020 International Player Pathway Program players:

Isaac Alarcon, Offensive Tackle (Mexico) – Dallas Cowboys

Alarcon represented his home country at the U19 World Championships as Mexico faced Team USA, Canada and Japan. He attended ITESM Monterrey, where he played both right and left tackle. In college, he won the 2019 national championship and was selected to the CONADEIP all-star team.

David Bada, Defensive End (Germany) – Washington Redskins

Bada played in the German Football League's top division for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. He previously played for the Ingolstadt Dukes, where he developed as a pass rusher.

Matt Leo, Defensive End (Australia) – Philadelphia Eagles

Leo played rugby while growing up in Australia. He earned a scholarship to Arizona Western College, then transferred to Iowa State where he redshirted for a year and played defensive end for two seasons. In 2019, Leo played in all 13 games, posting 14 tackles, five-and-a-half tackles for loss and one sack. A liberal studies major, he was First-Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference in 2019.

Sandro Platzgummer, Running Back (Austria) – New York Giants

Platzgummer participated in youth football leagues while growing up in Austria. He represented Austria’s U19 team and competed on the senior team in the 2018 European Championships. In 2019, Platzgummer played running back for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League with nearly 1,000 total yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Returning participants from the 2019 International Player Pathway Program:

Jakob Johnson, Fullback (Germany) – New England Patriots

Johnson made his NFL debut during the 2019 season in a Week 3 win against the New York Jets. His first NFL start came the following week in Buffalo where he was a lead blocker. And in Week 5, he made his first career reception for five yards against the Washington Redskins. Originally assigned to the Patriots through the International Pathway Program, the Patriots elected to forgo that option and made him a regular member of their 10-man practice squad, which gave them the option of promoting him to their active roster. Prior to the NFL, Johnson played for the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League before moving to Jacksonville where he played one season of high school football in the United States. He was recruited by the University of Tennessee.

Durval Queiroz Neto, Defensive Tackle (Brazil) – Miami Dolphins

Queiroz Neto played domestically on the two best teams in Brazil for the past four seasons. A judo champion before football, he is known for his tremendous athletic ability and willingness to learn. He spent the 2019 season on the Dolphins’ practice squad.

Christian Wade, Running Back/Kick Returner (England) – Buffalo Bills

Wade represented the English National Rugby Team at the U16, U18, U20 and senior levels and was selected to the British and Irish Lions squad, the highest honor for a rugby player. His 82 Premiership Rugby tries (touchdowns) rank third on the league's all-time list. Projected as a running back, Wade has outstanding athletic ability and a versatile skill set. He spent the 2019 season on the Bills’ practice squad and raised eyebrows during the 2019 preseason with two long runs, showcasing his superior speed.

Notable International Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:

Jordan Mailata, Tackle (Australia) – Philadelphia Eagles

The Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was drafted in the seventh round by the Eagles, which made him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program. After converting to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism. He was the youngest player on the Eagles roster in 2018 and remains with the team.

Efe Obada, Defensive End (UK) – Carolina Panthers

In 2018, Obada become the first player from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster. He played his first regular season game in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack, one-interception performance. In 2019, Obada posted a career-best 24 tackles and played in all 16 of the Panthers’ games, including their 2019 International Series game in London, where he was named an honorary captain. Obada signed a one-year contract extension with the Panthers on Jan. 6, 2020. Obada was raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10. He signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club's practice squad. He was on the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons rosters before joining the Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017 International Player Pathway Program.