In the NFL, an official may use his hat to mark where a player, who does not have the ball, has stepped out of bounds. This offense is often against a wide receiver, and the spot is marked as it renders that receiver ineligible for a reception. Additionally, if the official has already used his flag, he may use his hat on a second foul.
Since June 2012, the NFL has locked out its normal officials after their contract expired. Without a new contract, the league has been using replacement officials. One such official threw his hat out in the field during the Cowboys-Buccaneers game to mark receiver Kevin Ogletree out of bounds, and unfortunately, Ogletree slipped on the official’s hat.