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Face Mask

What is Face Mask?

This is a penalty for grabbing an opponent's face mask during a play and twist, turn, or pull the face mask of an opponent in any direction. This also refers to the metal bars on the front of a player's helmet.

Sporting Charts explains Face Mask

This penalty is assessed as a major foul that results in 15 yards and an automatic first down when a player grabs an opponents mask and twists, turns, or pulls. This penalty is not reviewable by replay. Prior to the 2008 NFL season, there was a five-yard penalty for the incidental grabbing of the face mask, which has since been removed from the NFL rules.

"Rule 12, Section 2, Article 5 of the NFL Rule Book states that 'no player shall twist, turn, or pull the face mask of an opponent in any direction.'

Penalty: For twisting, turning or pulling the mask: loss of 15 yards. A personal foul. The player may be disqualified if the action is judged by the official(s) to be of a flagrant nature."

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