NFL Attempts To Eliminate Potential Cheating Via Foreign Objects During Field Goal Attempts

The NFL is reportedly looking into whether teams are using 'foreign objects' to help during their kicking attempts.

The league has sent a warning to players and teams: cut it out.

The issue arose after a Week 14 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. The Eagles' holder, Britain Covey, was seen picking up a small white object from the field after a field goal attempt by kicker Jake Elliot. During video replay, the object can be seen placed directly underneath the football and moves forward as the ball is subsequently kicked.

NFL officials believe the shiny object may have been something similar to a coin that would help with the ball's alignment.

The website "" was able to capture the questionable moment.

According to NFL Rule 11-4-5, “No article of any type may be placed on the field, or used in any manner, to assist a player in the execution of a field goal and/or Try attempt.”

If a player is found using a foreign object, it would result in an unsportsmanlike penalty, resulting in a 15-yard loss.


The NFL referees did not notice Covey using the foreign object at the time, it was only picked up afterwards during an officials meeting. The NFL regularly meets to go over questionable calls and plays that occurred during previous games. Referees are now being told to specifically pay attention to the use of any sort of object that may occur during extra point attempts and field goals.

Beyond just the alleged use of coins to help line up the football, we've also seen some other blatant rule breaking. For example, did you know it's against the rules to wipe down the field before a kick is going to take place?

If there's one thing we've learned throughout the history of mankind, people will try to gain an advantage. In any sort of competition, there will always be someone that will try to get an edge over their opponent. This is especially true in sports, which is why the leagues have had to constantly adapt and add rules.


In baseball for example, the league recently banned a substance known as 'Spider Tack' that allows pitchers to have a better grip on the baseball as well as increase its' spinning rotation to make the ball harder to hit.

You've all seen it - how ridiculous the umpires look in between innings when they're rubbing down a pitcher's hat, belt, hands - pretty much giving them a full cavity-like search when they come off the mound in an attempt to find ANYTHING. Sometimes it even happens during the middle of the game.

During last year's National League Wild Card Series, Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the umpires to look into if Padres' pitcher Joe Musgrove was using any sort of substance. He wasn't, and the move looked desperate from Showalter and the Mets, who were trailing 4-0 in the game.

Will we now see NFL referees checking the holder's hands to make sure they aren't hiding any sort of coin? Will referees have to do a walkthrough after a field goal to make sure there's nothing left on the field that may have been used?

Next thing you know we're going to have referees doing cleat inspections before kicks to make sure that there aren't any metal objects near the toes that could kick the ball farther.

Actually, that doesn't sound like a bad idea...

Written by
Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.