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.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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. 

Technology

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.

The past decade has brought about a more open and positive dialogue around mental health. There is a growing recognition that mental health is important and integral to health and that a holistic approach to wellness can help improve all aspects of life. The NFL is committed to doing its part to help build a positive culture around mental health.

“Mental health exists on a continuum, from thriving to emotional distress. But too often we equate mental health to mental illness,” says Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti, NFL vice president of wellness and clinical services. “So, one of the conversations that we are hoping to be able to have is really making sure [NFL players and club personnel] understand that everyone has mental health.”

Those conversations are a key component of the NFL and NFLPA’s ongoing efforts to prioritize and destigmatize mental health and expand utilization of mental health resources across all 32 teams.

Access to mental health resources and a true understanding of mental wellness are more important than ever given the potential mental health impacts of COVID-19 and the tough conversations taking place at every level in the United States around systemic racism.

Ahead of the 2020 season, the NFL and NFLPA shared educational materials with clubs to highlight the mental health resources available to players and other club personnel during this particularly stressful time and beyond.

Expanding Mental Health Resources

In 2019, the NFL-NFLPA enacted a joint Behavioral Health Agreement, an initiative that expanded existing resources available to NFL players aimed at supporting total wellness.

“Mental health resources have been there for a long time,” Dr. NiiLampti says. “But what this behavioral health initiative has done is to put it at the forefront [of player care].”

The Behavioral Health Agreement established a joint NFL-NFLPA Mental Health and Wellness Committee, mandated the development of team-specific Mental Health Emergency Action Plans and required all teams to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician.

On an ongoing basis, the program will also provide mandatory mental health education for all players and league personnel, ensures player confidentiality and works to destigmatize mental health through open discussion and dialogue.

Fully Integrated Support

Every NFL club is now required to have a licensed and experienced mental health clinician on-site who is fully integrated into the team environment. Many teams have had a team clinician on staff for years, but the Behavioral Health Agreement formalized the role. 

Team Behavioral Clinicians primarily focus on supporting players but can also be available to coaches and staff. Beyond serving those at the club facility, they can also provide education, outreach and mental health resources to immediate family members of players and club personnel.

“During the course of the season, [we] provide information and training to spouses and significant others,” says Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, Baltimore Ravens Team Clinician. “We can now work together to support their family.”

It Takes a Team

But Team Behavioral Clinicians don’t operate in a vacuum. While maintaining the confidentiality of players, they work collectively with team physicians and athletic trainers, the team chaplain, and the team Director of Player Engagement to form a mental health and wellness team.

“It takes a team to take care of a team,” says Dr. Andrew Tucker, Baltimore Ravens Team Physician.

“Our goals are all the same, which is to optimize mental and physical health amongst all of our players and offer them different touchpoints to engage our mental health team,” he says.

Ultimately, the goal is to staff every club with multiple people who can identify if a team member may be struggling with a mental health-related concern and who are trained to offer the right kind of support, in the process normalizing any feelings they are experiencing.

Protecting Privacy 

The cornerstone of all mental wellness resources provided to players is a strict confidentiality policy, designed to protect individual privacy.

The important work of team clinicians is built around the idea that anything players, coaches, staff and family members reveal in confidence will remain private.

“We know that you can have the best resources in the world and if players don’t feel like their information is going to be held confidentially, they’re not going to use those resources,” says Dr. NiiLampti

The confidentiality policy is paramount to ensuring privacy is upheld to the highest standards and building trust between club mental health and wellness providers and players. There are proper checks and balances in place to ensure that all team members adhere to these guidelines.

Supporting Total Wellness

Mental health and wellness are just one component of the NFL’s broader efforts to provide resources that advance a holistic approach to player care.

“We want to allow players to have the space and capacity to be able to talk about the emotional part of this business, the pressure that goes with it and how we can all work together to be healthier people or a healthier family,” says Don Davis, NFLPA Senior Director of Player Affairs.

The NFL is taking a comprehensive approach to supporting players and their families – that includes mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

There is more work to be done, but the NFL remains committed in its efforts to provide the best mental health resources available, destigmatize mental healthcare and provide a space where players feel safe and confident in asking for help.

Read more at the NFL Player Health & Safety website, and check out the NFL Total Wellness page.

Español