Football Running Plays
The Ball Carrier
Down By Contact
Down by contact in football happens when the ball carrier touches the ground with any part of his body below the knees.
In the NFL down by contact happens when both knees of the ball carrier touch the ground.
Forward progress defines the yardage that a ball carrier gains during a down. If the ball carrier reaches a yard line on a down and is then pushed backwards, the line of scrimmage will still be that furthest yard line.
For example, if the ball carrier reaches the 50 yard line on a down and is then pushed backwards five yards to the 45-yard line to the down ending, the line of scrimmage will still be the 50 yard line. This is due to forward progress.