National Football League changes overtime, roster moves and celebration rules

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In Chicago for their annual spring meeting, National Football League owners also announced changes to the overtime period and the Super Bowl hosting schedule. According NFL Media's Judy Battista, the tweak is being deemed a "player safety issue" brought about by "concerns about the number of additional plays if teams play a full 15-minute overtime".

The NFL says the shortened amount of time will not result in more ties, but that seems a little misleading. 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. This change is expected to prevent injuries to key reserve players as most starters don't participate in the final preseason game. It should also create a wild few days with so many players not knowing their fate for the upcoming season. These included using the football as a prop, celebrating on the ground and group demonstrations.

Now two, rather than one, players may return from injured reserve after eight weeks on IR, with the ability to return to practice after six weeks. Until now, however, there had been an interim limit of 75 players, usually enforced after the third preseason game. In the past, teams have been allowed to move one player from IR to the active roster per season, at the midway point. The new rule now makes that display legal, should it be snowing again when the 49ers travel to Soldier Field this season.

NFL owners voted to approve several rule changes at the spring league meeting in Chicago on Tuesday, including shortening overtime to 10 minutes after the idea was proposed at the annual league meeting in March.

But they'll still make teams play on Thursday nights.

The Atlanta Falcons are no stranger to elaborate touchdown celebrations.

"I would disagree with it, because I think more games are going to end in ties", Brees said.

Some fans and media had criticized the previous, stricter rules, calling the NFL the "No Fun League" for giving 15 yard penalties and even fines in the thousands of dollars to players whose celebrations violated rules, CBS News reported.

However, with this new rule, it allows teams to spend more time with rookie prospects and veterans.

But the more amusing part of this rule change is not what will be allowed, but what is still banned.

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