2022 NFL Rules and Regulations

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While you are all ready, high in spirit to represent your team in your custom football uniforms on the grounds, let us summarize some of the 2022 fresh updates in NFL rules to make it easier for you.

The NFL season is approaching. Every year, NFL makes changes to its rules and guidelines. This is to improve the game, provide the players with more safety, or simply increase the fairness of the play. It can be hard keeping up with all the rules while NFL keeps changing and adjusting them. While you are all ready, high in spirit to represent your team in your custom football uniforms on the grounds, let us summarize some of the 2022 fresh updates in NFL rules to make it easier for you.

The Helmet Rule

NFL made a slight change in their helmet rule adopted in 2018. The original rule was about declaring a foul when a player initiates contact with an opponent while lowering their helmet. They barely changed it for 2022, but it now makes a stronger impact. The rule now states that:

“It is a foul if a player lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent.”

NFL added the word “forcible” while removing the part about the player initiating contact. This slight change can now make it easier to prove in case of violation. In addition, NFL uses an artificial intelligence program to identify all ways in which a player’s helmet contacts another player. Thus, there is no need to prove whether the contact was “initiated” or not.

Change in Overtime

The overtime rule made the necessary change but currently, it is only applicable for playoffs. The format for regular season games is the same. A team it their custom football uniforms can still win if it scores a touchdown after its opening possession without the opponent getting to touch the ball. Since NFL believes that having longer overtime games do not always yield good results. Thus, the newly changed format is only applicable for important contests. The rule for playoffs states that:

"Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once during the extra period."

This change now prevents any team from winning on the opening possession despite scoring a touchdown. Also, it reduces the advantage of winning the overtime coin toss for a team. Thus, whichever team scores more after possessions, that team is the winner. In case there is a tie after each team has one possession, the team who scores next wins. However, there is one exception. A team will win the game if they score a safety. However, this change will not affect the majority of NFL games because of playoff conditioning. Since 2001, there have been only 24 playoff overtime games which is an average of one percent of total games.

Freekick formation made permanent

The freekick rule which was first introduced in 2021, is now a permanent part of NFL games from 2022. The freekick formation rule states that:

“Until the kicking of the ball, all players on the receiving team need to be inbounds on the field and behind the restraining line.”

This rule restricts at least eight and at most nine players returning the team to remain between the restraining line and any other spot that should be 15 yards behind that line during a free kick.

Roughing the Passer Rule

NFL always prioritizes and protects quarterbacks. However, during the offseason, the game committee took some steps to minimize the number of flags for roughing the passer.

This change in the rule was necessary because there was a total of 153 of these penalties in 2021. Which is 12% more than last year per game. However, this rise in red flags was not the reason to bother the decision-makers of the NFL. But the fact that most of these penalties were a result of mild or accidental hits to the helmet which were below the level of forcible contact from the standard rule book.

Even though protecting the quarterbacks is still NFL’s priority, they still want to avoid the games from being the turf of unnecessary red flags. Thus, officials are asked to change their approach to ensure the contact is forcible to throw the red flag. This tweak will now result in a decrease in roughing of passer flags than 2021, and NFL games returning to their typical standards.

Roster Size and Squad Practice

After the pandemic took over, the rules to roster size and practice squad were passed through changes and adaptions. But some of the rules remain in action even after the pandemic is over. For example, the following rule is now the permanent part of the NFL from 2022:

“When the final cuts are made and the regular season roster is at 53, the NFL teams will be allowed to have 16 players on the practice squad (up from 10 before).”

Furthermore, a team is allowed to activate two of their players from the practice squad and deactivate a maximum of seven players for a roster of seven players on a game day. However, they should make this choice at least 90 minutes before the game starts.

This change now allows the player to play one game and then go back to being part of the practice squad the next day without suffering through the process of waivers or the chance of another team claiming them.

In addition, there was one more change in roster rule since last year. Players are now allowed to be elevated from the practice squad thrice in a single season before they sign to the 53-man roster. Last year it was limited to two times only.

Resolution Summary Rule

The approval of the resolution summary rule for 2022 modifies the Anti-Tampering Policy. This rule allows the teams in their custom football uniforms to keep their lower-level team members. But the members now have the option to get scouted by other teams in non-executive positions. This change promotes fairness in the organization and increases stability. Meanwhile, it simultaneously secures opportunities for personnel to choose other positions.

The rule for Injured Reserve List

NFL made a subtle change in the rule of the Injured Reserve list. Previously, for the past two years, the organization did not limit the number of players who could be part of the Injured reserve, activated for the meantime, and then placed back on the list. However, as of 2022, the players must remain on Injured reserve for four weeks. Furthermore, NFL now set the limit for Injured Reserve players. Only eight players per team can now be on the Injured Reserve list. The number was three before the pandemic.


So, there’s that. All the prominent and minimal changes in rules and regulations by NFL for the 2022 season. You can further check the NFL’s published book for all the little details of their complete rules set.