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Ineligible Receiver Downfield Penalty in Football

What is an Ineligible Receiver Downfield Penalty?

An Ineligible Receiver Downfield Penalty is called when an Ineligible Receiver(offensive line) crosses the line of scrimmage on a passing play. These players must wait until the ball is thrown passed the line of scrimmage before they are able to head down the field. The exception to this rule is on a screen play, since the ball is being thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

Number of Yards

There is a 5 yard penalty in both the NFL and College Football.

The Signal

When signaling the Ineligible Receiver Downfield penalty the referee will place the palm of one hand on top of the head with the elbow off to the side.