What Is a Chop Block In American Football?

chop block

What Is a Chop Block In Football?

A chop block is a football move in which one offensive lineman blocks a defender below the knees while another offensive lineman blocks the same defender higher up. This move is often used to take out a defensive player pursuing the ball carrier, but it can also be used to slow down or stop a pass rusher.


One way to execute a chop block is for the offensive lineman to duck their head down and charge into the defender’s legs. Another way is to wait until the defender is engaged with another offensive lineman and then come in and hit them low from behind. The key element is that it must be done while the other player is already occupied, so they can’t react or defend themselves properly.

Chop blocks are often used as part of a running play to help clear a path for the running back. However, they can also be used in passing situations to give the quarterback more time to throw the ball.

Are Chop Blocks Illegal?

Chop blocks are considered illegal in most forms of football because of the high risk of serious injury. A chop block can result in a torn ACL or MCL, broken bones, or even paralysis when not executed properly. Because of this, players who execute chop blocks are subject to penalties and fines from their league and their team.

What’s The Penalty For a Chop Block In The NFL?

The penalty for a chop block in the NFL is a 15-yard penalty. This penalty is assessed when a player blocks an opponent below the knees while the opponent is already engaged with another blocker. This type of block can lead to serious injury, which is why it is penalized so severely.

What Is The Referees Signal For This Penalty?

The penalty signal for a chop block is when the referee swings his arms toward the top of his knee and below his/her waist. This signals the penalty has occurred, and the offending team will be penalized.