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.

NFL COVID-19 Protocols

Social Justice

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. 

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

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.

The NFL joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia to kick off their partnership — Strength of HBCUs, Impacting Pro Football Since 1948. The initiative will celebrate and honor the history and impact that HBCUs and their players have had on the game, and will work to increase career opportunities for students and athletic administrators at these institutions. 

The celebration of will continue at Super Bowl LI in Houston. The NFL will honor Legends and historic players at the Super Bowl by recognizing 29 Pro Football Hall of Fame players who attended HBCUs, including Jerry Rice, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams. The celebration culminates with an on-field pregame ceremony honoring these players at NRG Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 5. 

“The HBCU influence on the NFL goes beyond the evolution of the game and reaches deep into the very fabric of football, and we are honored to celebrate their achievements at Super Bowl LI in Houston”, said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “Our partnership with the HBCUs is an important initiative which celebrates the tremendous legacy fostered by these institutions that continue to contribute a standard of excellence and character for our game."

Hosted in conjunction with the Celebration Bowl, the inaugural NFL Careers in Football Forum introduced 80 students and entry-level athletic department administrators from the 23 MEAC and SWAC institutions to career opportunities in professional football. The event featured panel discussions with NFL and club executives, resume- and skill-building workshops, and a behind-the-scenes look into football operations on game day. 

The NFL has a longstanding relationship with HBCUs, which have developed some of the game’s greats, including 29 of the 303 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Black College Football Hall of Fame, announced a partnership that will result in a permanent home for the Black College Football Hall of Fame as part of the new Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio, adding to the history and association of HBCUs and their players’ influence on the game. 

Below is a list of the Pro Football Hall of Fame members who will be recognized at Super Bowl LI. NFL Legends and former Grambling State players, Doug Williams and the late Paul “Tank” Younger, will also be honored in Houston for their achievements and impact on the game.



Lem Barney

Jackson State

Elvin Bethea

North Carolina A&T

Mel Blount

Southern University 

Roosevelt Brown

Morgan State

Willie Brown

Grambling State

Buck Buchanan

Grambling State

Harry Carson

South Carolina State

Willie Davis

Grambling State

Richard Dent

Tennessee State

Len Ford

Morgan State

Bob Hayes

Florida A&M

Claude Humphrey

Tennessee State

Ken Houston

Prairie View A&M

Charlie Joiner

Grambling State

Deacon Jones

Mississippi Valley State

Leroy Kelly

Morgan State

Willie Lanier

Morgan State

Larry Little

Bethune Cookman

Walter Payton

Jackson State

Jerry Rice

Mississippi Valley State

Shannon Sharpe

Savannah State

Art Shell

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Jackie Slater

Jackson State

John Stallworth

Alabama A&M

Michael Strahan 

Texas Southern

Emmitt Thomas


Aeneas Williams

Southern University

Rayfield Wright

Fort Valley State