NFL Relaxes Celebration Rules; Some Celebrations Still Penalized

In Chicago for their annual spring meeting, National Football League owners also announced changes to the overtime period and the Super Bowl hosting schedule. The eliminated cut to 75 means teams will carry 90 players throughout pre-season and cut to the league mandated 53 in one cut day. After years of limiting how - and how much - players could celebrate following touchdowns, the league made a decision to loosen up its rules, allowing players to again use the football as a prop, celebrate as a group and roll around or flap their arms like snow angels on the ground again if they choose.

Over the last five seasons, there have been 83 overtime games, according to NFL Research, and 22 of them have extended past the 10-minute mark. After seventy minutes of NFL football, even the most well-conditioned athletes are probably going to be pretty tired. The move was approved by the National Football League owners today.

Get daily prep sports headlines from the Gwinnett Daily Post staff delivered to your email. That includes Brandin Cooks's archer celebration, but that's no skin off my back.

Being able to return two players from injured reserve doubles the exemption first introduced by the league in 2012.

The move to shorter overtimes is just one of the changes that have been approved for the 2017 season.

The NFL has loosened the reigns on its rules on celebrations.

National Football League owners have approved a rule change which will limit the overtime period from fifteen minutes to ten.

It will be interesting to see how these sorts of overtures that bolster player inclusion and input will affect the upcoming labor negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

"Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent will still be penalized", a league statement said. Teams were previously only allowed one such player designation per year, but now they will be able to have two per season.

That new rule will allow players fighting to make the final roster to play in one more preseason game. Until now, however, there had been an interim limit of 75 players, usually enforced after the third preseason game.

The Bengals' Marvin Lewis, who coached serial end-zone celebrators Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson, opposes the new rule.

Players can now use the ball as a prop, engage in group celebrations with teammates and even go to the ground for a snow angel. Now, teams will go directly from 90 to 53 following the preseason finale.

In a game infamous for very little time actually spent in action, this often-exercised penalty will remain to avoid any further distractions from game play.

Vanessa Coleman

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