If I catch a pass while jumping next to my sideline and land with one foot in and then step out of bounds, in the NFL, that's not a complete pass.

But what if I catch it on the one foot and then hop a few times -- while I have 1 foot in bounds, I take more than 1 step!

Is the rule about 2 (different) feet inbounds or 2 steps (the way a completed pass needs a step taken)? What if I were to keep hopping and move forward ten yards and then fall out of bounds (imagine a player who gets an ankle hurt while running a route and can't put the injured foot down) -- is that complete and in-bounds?

Taken to an extreme, can a one legged player ever complete a reception while standing? (if he kneels or sits, other body parts touch the ground and they substitute for the leg).

I'm not being silly here -- I have seen players catch a pass, land on one foot and then take a quick hop and THEN fall out of bounds (not in the NFL). I don't know if that would count as 2 feet in or not (the one foot lands twice after the completion).

(the one answer I got was that the catch would be complete but not legally in-bounds, making it both complete and incomplete at the same time)

1 Answer 1


No; if a player hops with one foot and never places the other foot in bounds, then the player is out of bounds and it is not a completed catch. From the NFL Rulebook, rule 8.1.2:

A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) in the field of play, at the sideline, or in the end zone if a player, who is inbounds: ... touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands

Both feet are explicitly required - not one foot multiple times.

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