Football Substitutions

Football Substitution

What Is a Substitution in Football?

A substitution in football is when a player is replaced by another player on the same team from the sideline. Football teams can only have 11 players on the field of play for a down. Substitutions in football happen between downs and not during live play.

Football Substitution Rules

Here are the rules of player substitutions in NFL football:

  • Unlimited substitutions are allowed, but they can only be executed when the ball is dead.
  • Entering the field after the snap is an illegal substitution
  • Substituting players must be on the field and past the yard-line markers before the ball is snapped.
  • Players leaving the game in a substitution must exit the field and end zone before the next snap.
  • If a potential offensive substitute communicates with the huddle, they must substitute in for the next play.

Reasons for Making Substitutions

Substitutions occur for a number of reasons, the primary reason being for rest and recovery. Since football can be exhausting for a player, having a backup for them is ideal. This way there can always be a fresh player on the field. Substitutions are also for injured players. If a player gets hurt and has to be taken off the field, there is a substitute who replaces them.