The NFL got around to making some rule changes for the 2017 season. They include: greater freedom to celebrate touchdowns, a shorter overtime period, removal of the 75-man cut-down day, and added flexibility for IR players.
One of the big changes will be for touchdown celebrations. The league decided it would loosen up the celebration rules, and commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a letter explaining the new policies.
Players can now use the ball as a prop, they can do things like make snow angels, and they can also have group celebrations. Basically they can do most things as long as they aren’t “offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent,” those will still incur a penalty.
The league will shorten the overtime periods to 10 minutes from 15. The reason is concern over player safety. PFT reports that this rule would have changed the playoffs last year had it been in effect.
If last year had been played under such rules, the playoffs would have looked different, as Tampa Bay’s late loss to the Raiders would have ended in a tie, and would have put the Bucs in the postseason instead of the Lions.
Three other games were won in overtime on the final five minutes, games that would be ties this year.
The owners have done way with the interim step of cutting down the roster to 75 men after the third preseason game. Now, teams will be able to carry a full 90-man roster through the final preseason game and then cut down directly to 53.
Finally, instead of allowing just one player to return from IR in a season, the teams will now have the opportunity to bring back two players from IR during the year.