Sporting Charts

Ineligible Receiver Down Field

What does Ineligible Receiver Down Field Mean?

The five offensive linemen who line up on the line of scrimmage are not allowed to be down field on passing plays. This means that the O-line is not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage on passing plays; the penalty for doing so is a five-yard penalty.


Sporting Charts explains Ineligible Receiver Down Field

While offensive linemen are not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage on passing plays, the rules are different for screen plays. On screen plays the O-line is allowed to cross the line of scrimmage to go out and block because the ball is still being thrown behind the line of scrimmage even though it is a forward pass. This is a common penalty for teams with running quarterbacks because the O-line might think the quarterback is about to take off and run when he is actually rolling out to throw.

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