NFL Wants Their Referees To Focus More On ‘Illegal Contact’ Penalty During 2022 Season

The NFL wants its officials to be more concentrated on illegal contact penalties, according to a report from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.

The illegal contact penalty penalizes the defender for making contact with an offensive player when the quarterback still has the ball and remains in the pocket. It is a 5-yard penalty and results in an automatic first down.

According to Seifert, officials “flagged illegal contact an average of 97 times per season between 2002 and 2020, but that number dropped to 36 last season.” This prompted the NFL’s Competition Committee to make it a point of emphasis as it heads into the 2022 season.

Seifert also notes that another “significant point of clarification” is centered around the roughing the passer penalty. The committee has “clarified that contact to the helmet and below the knee area must be forcible.”


Like they do every year during training camp, officiating crews are traveling to different teams across the country to update player and coaches on all the new rules and clarifications.

Can’t wait for football!