Football Team Roster

Chapter 3.2

How many players are on a football team? Can players take breaks and be substituted for new players? Get ready to learn about a football team roster.


Football is a game played between two teams of players.

Team Rosters

So how many players are on a football team? On a professional NFL team, there are fifty-three (53) players on the roster. Only forty-five (45) players can dress on game day.

Rookie Road Football Team Roster Image

Too Many Players

Only eleven (11) players can be on the field of play during a scrimmage down.

Rookie Road Football Substitutions Image

If a team has more than 11 players are on the field during a play, they will be assessed a penalty called too many men on the field here.

Unlimited Substitutions

At this point, you might be confused. Why does a football team have 53 players on its roster if only 11 players can be on the field playing? The reason is because football allows for unlimited substitutions.

Football is different from other sports in that it allows for unlimited substitutions in between plays. At any point, a team can substitute the 11 players on the field for a new set of 11 players.

Team Units

Since football allows for unlimited substitutions, players are highly specialized in their roles on the field. As a result, players are grouped into three main categories or units:

Depending on the play and which team has the ball, a coach will employ his offense, defense, or special teams onto the field.

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