How Many Players Are On An NFL Team?

An NFL team has 53 players on their active roster and 14 players on their practice squad. 46 players are active for each NFL game.

How Many Players Are On An NFL Team?

NFL teams are allowed a maximum of 67 players on their roster including practice squad players. During an NFL game a team can only use a maximum of 46 players.

Below you can see a table which shows the typical breakdown by position of an active NFL roster which is made up of 53 players and does not include the 14 practice squad players.

Play Position Roster Dress Field
Offense Quarterbacks 2 2 1
Offense Offensive Linemen 9 7 5
Offense Wide Receivers 6 5 3 or 2
Offense Running Backs 4 4 1 or 2
Offense Tight Ends 3 3 2 or 1
Defense Defensive Linemen 9 8 4 or 3
Defense Linebackers 7 7 3 or 4
Defense Defensive Backs 10 7 4
Special Kicker 1 1
Special Punter 1 1
Special Long-snapper 1 1
TOTALS 53 46

The above table is just an example and some teams prefer to have more or less of certain players. For example some teams may only have 2 tight ends but then have an extra back up kicker or an extra linebacker.

How Many Quarterbacks Are On An NFL Team?

Most NFL teams have 3 quarterbacks on their roster. Some teams only have 2 quarterbacks but you won’t find an NFL squad without at least one back up! 

NFL teams are required to have a backup quarterback otherwise they can’t play. As the position is so important NFL teams will often have a 3rd string quarterback who is typically a young player who they hope to develop. Tony Romo started his career as a 3rd string quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and then went on to become a Pro Bowl starter! 

How Many Wide Receivers Are On A NFL Roster?

A typical NFL roster includes 6 wide receivers. Some teams have 5 while others have 7! As 4 wide receivers can be on the field at the same time NFL teams need some backups in case they get injured.

Wide receiver is an interesting NFL position because so many can be on the field at the same time. Unlike quarterbacks where there is only one on the field, sometimes coaches will line up with 4 wide receivers and then throw the ball long in hopes of a hail mary touchdown!

How Many Tight Ends Are On A NFL Team?

NFL rosters will often feature 3 tight ends. This is because 2 tight ends are usually on the field at the same time and they need an extra tight end as backup. 

The backup tight end will often feature on special teams, chasing kickoffs, blocking on kick returns and blocking on field goals.

How Many Offensive Linemen Are On a NFL Roster?

NFL rosters include 9 offensive linemen. 5 offensive linemen will be on the field at the same time and 4 will be used as backups.

How Many Linebackers Are On A NFL Team?

NFL rosters include 7 linebackers. Typically 3 or 4 linebackers will be on the field at the same time and then the remaining 3 to 4 will be used as backups. 

Backup linebackers will often get game time as coaches want fresh players to blitz late in the second half. Also linebackers are known as great contributors on special teams!

How Many Running Backs Are On A NFL Roster?

NFL teams feature 4 running backs. 2 running backs will be used predominantly and then 2 will be used as backups.

It is not uncommon for NFL coaches to use 3 different running backs in the same game. Running backs regularly get injured so NFL coaches need to have 4 running backs ready to go on the sidelines if an injury occurs.

How Many Defensive Linemen Are On A NFL Team?

NFL teams feature 9 defensive linemen on their roster. 4 defensive linemen will typically be on the field at the same time. 8 defensive linemen will be activated for the game and 1 will be inactive.

How Many Defensive Backs Are On A NFL Roster?

NFL teams feature 10 defensive backs. Typically 2 safeties and 2 cornerbacks will be on the field at the same time.

An NFL coach will often activate 6 to 8 defensive backs for a game. Extra safeties and cornerbacks will play on special teams.


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