In basketball, two technical fouls and you’re out. In soccer, two yellow cards and you’re out. And before long we could see football’s rules change so that it’s two personal fouls and you’re out.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL could divide personal fouls into two categories, one for more egregious acts and one for lighter ones, and then eject players who commit multiple offenses in one game.

From PFT:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Competition Committee currently is looking at two possible categories of fouls that would trigger an ejection for two violations in the same game. The first category would consist of verbal abuse, taunting, and throwing a punch or a kick. The second category would be broader, with hits on defenseless players, impermissible use of the helmet, crown-of-helmet violations, roughing the passer, late hits, striking, kneeing, and kicking.

The wording here is a little unclear, so it’s hard to tell if players would be ejected for two violations within the second category or only the first. It would seem logical to only boot players if they commit deliberate offenses like punching an opponent as opposed to helmet-to-helmet or facemask penalties, which can be incidental.

According to PFT, there were at least seven instances last season of a player committing multiple personal fouls in one game. The most notable came in the Super Bowl, when Aqib Talib was assessed two 15-yard penalties, one for taunting the other for egregiously yanking an opponent’s facemask.

For the new personal foul policy to go into effect, 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners will have to approve it.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.