NFL Relaxes Celebration Rules to Allow 'Snow Angels,' Still Frowns on Thrusting

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. However over that same period, only five games ended in a tie, a retroactive 10 minute overtime would have produced 16 ties. Rather than go from 90-to-75-to-53 players, teams will go straight from 90-to-53 on Sept 1 (the day following the final preseason game). Previously, teams were only allowed to bring one player back from IR in a given season.

That freedom had been stripped in many cases, with fans and media criticizing the NFL as being the "No Fun League". It should also create a wild few days with so many players not knowing their fate for the upcoming season.

The NFL will continue to prohibit players from dunking over the crossbar after touchdowns, a source confirmed Wednesday, even after it relaxed its celebration policy. The new rule allows two players to be placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list. Roger Goodell called it a player safety measure. Unfortunately this the National Football League, and in recent years, "legal" touchdown celebrations were significantly curtailed by boring people in suits. Players grew frustrated that they couldn't show their personality/creativity/joy after making a great play without drawing a penalty flag and $12,000 fine.

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown", Goodell said. On Tuesday, Goodell sent a letter to fans explaining the changes. They made this rule just in case a team that goes into OT on Sunday has to play a game the following Thursday.

For the first 47 years of the National Football League, once a player was placed on IR (injured reserve), he was not allowed to return to the active roster until the following season.

While the big headliners are the shortened overtime and expanded celebrations, there were a couple of changes to the construction of rosters that will be impactful next season, as well.

There were two tie games league-wide last season, one between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals and another in London featuring the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals. Those players can return to practice after six weeks and to games after eight weeks.

  • Julie Sanders