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

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 NFL has announced the eight finalists — four from each conference — for the 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The finalists are linebacker Brian Cushing (Houston), running back Frank Gore (Indianapolis), linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Denver) and guard/tackle Marshal Yanda (Baltimore) in the AFC, and tight end Greg Olsen (Carolina), linebacker Julius Peppers (Green Bay), running back Darren Sproles (Philadelphia) and tackle Joe Staley (San Francisco) in the NFC. The finalists have a combined 38 Pro Bowl selections.

Each NFL team nominated one player for the award, which recognizes those who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.

A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community — Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler — selected the eight finalists from the 32 nominees.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, Dec. 16. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As with Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders was selected by his peers in 2015, and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals won the inaugural award in 2014.

The player’s selection will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Saturday, Feb. 4 on FOX — the night before Super Bowl LI — and will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.

The 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award finalists:

LB Brian Cushing, Houston Texans. An eight-year veteran, Cushing has led the Texans in tackles three times during his career (2009, 2011, 2015), earned All-Pro accolades following the 2009 and 2011 seasons and was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection. Cushing — the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after posting 133 tackles and four sacks — was selected by Houston in the first round (15th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He is the Texans’ franchise leader with 639 career tackles.

RB Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts. Gore, a 12-year veteran, ranks eighth in NFL history with 12,830 rushing yards and is one of only five players in league history with at least 12,500 rushing yards and 400 receptions in his career. Gore joined the Colts prior to the 2015 season after 10 years with the San Francisco 49ers, where he rushed for a franchise-record 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns. A five-time Pro Bowler and 2006 AP All-Pro selection, Gore was a third-round draft choice of San Francisco in 2005.

TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers. A first-round selection (31st overall) of the Chicago Bears in the 2007 NFL Draft, Olsen was traded to Carolina prior to the 2011 season and is the Panthers’ all-time leader in receptions (413) and receiving yards (5,218) among tight ends. In 2015, Olsen totaled 1,104 receiving yards — the most by a tight end in franchise history — and earned his second Pro Bowl trip while helping the Panthers to a 15-1 record and an appearance in Super Bowl 50.

LB Julius Peppers, Green Bay Packers. A nine-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team AP All-Pro selection, Peppers is the only player in NFL history with 100 sacks (142.5) and 10 interceptions (11). The second overall selection by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft, Peppers has appeared in 231 games with 224 starts for Green Bay (2014-16), Chicago (2010-13) and Carolina (2002-09) during his 15-year career and ranks fifth since 1982 with 142.5 career sacks.

RB Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles. Originally a fourth-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2005, Sproles is the only player in NFL history to record at least 30 receiving touchdowns (30), 20 rushing touchdowns (21), a punt-return touchdown (seven) and a kickoff-return touchdown (two) in his career. A two-time Pro Bowler and 2014 All-Pro, Sproles leads all NFL running backs with 4,546 receiving yards and 30 touchdown catches since 2007. He has appeared in 166 career games for the Eagles (2013-16), New Orleans Saints (2011-13) and Chargers (2005-10).

T Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers. Staley, a 10-year veteran and five-time Pro Bowler, was selected by the 49ers in the first round (28th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. Staley has started 142 games, becoming the 10th offensive lineman in franchise history to appear in at least 140 games. Staley was one of the 2015 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award finalists.

LB DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos. Ware, a 12-year veteran, ranks second among active players and is eighth since 1982 with 138.5 career sacks. A nine-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All-Pro, Ware joined the Broncos as a free agent before the 2014 season after spending the first nine years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, where he recorded a franchise-record 117 sacks. Ware has been a team captain in each of his three seasons in Denver and has helped guide a Broncos’ defensive unit that leads the NFL with 131 sacks since 2014. He was selected by the Cowboys in the first round (11th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.

G/T Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens. Originally selected by the Ravens in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Yanda has earned five consecutive Pro Bowl berths (2012-16) and has been an AP All-Pro in four of the past five seasons (2011-12, 2014-15). Yanda has appeared in 140 games with 129 starts since 2007, starting games at right guard (94 starts), right tackle (29), left guard (four), left tackle (one) and tight end (one) over his 10-year career.