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.

For the first time, the NFL International Combine — the invitational scouting showcase, based on the annual NFL Scouting Combine — is headed to Germany. The event will discover and evaluate potential NFL talent from around the world. Up to 50 athletes will take part in a series of tests in front of NFL evaluators at Sportschule Hennef, a sports training facility outside of Cologne, on Oct. 19.

Athletes will participate in speed, agility, strength and skill-based tests designed to evaluate whether they’re suited for a possible spot in the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.

Following the Combine, the athletes who meet specific performance standards and display the potential to play in the NFL will be invited to train in the United States for three months.

“Following last year’s inaugural International Combine in Australia, we are excited to explore the talent pool internationally,” said Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International. “Since 2017, the NFL’s International Player Pathway program has provided international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level and develop their skills, and we hope to discover new talent through this event in Germany.”

All participants must meet NFL eligibility requirements and are required to have citizenship outside the United States or Canada.

Interested athletes should send a detailed description of their athletic career along with any video highlights to

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway Program provides international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and potentially earn a spot on an NFL roster. For the 2019 NFL season, eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads as part of the program.

The players joining AFC East clubs for the 2019 season include:

  • Valentine Holmes (New York Jets) is a former professional rugby player in Australia
  • Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots) is a former University of Tennessee tight end and German Football League player
  • Durval Queiroz Neto (Miami Dolphins) played football in Brazil
  • Christian Wade (Buffalo Bills) is a former England national rugby player.

Four participants from 2018 will return to their AFC North teams for the upcoming season, including:

  • Moritz Böhringer (Cincinnati Bengals), originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings
  • Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), German Football League player
  • Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland Browns), a former British American Football League player
  • Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers), a former English professional rugby player

International Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:

Jordan Mailata, Tackle (Australia), Philadelphia Eagles

Mailata, a Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and a past program participant, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles (making him ineligible for the 2019 International Player Pathway Program). After converting to football full time early in 2018, the 6’8”, 350-pound tackle impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism. Mailata continued his football journey as the youngest player on the Eagles roster during the 2018 season.

Efe Obada, Defensive End (UK), Carolina Panthers

Obada was raised in London after moving from the Netherlands when he was 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 practice squad. He has since spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017 International Player Pathway Program. In 2018, Obada become the first player from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster. In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season game, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack, one-interception performance.