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Thread: NFL plans to change IR rules; changes also expected for OT

  1. #1

    NFL plans to change IR rules; changes also expected for OT

    Posted by Michael David Smith on May 17, 2017, 8:37 AM EDT

    The NFL is continuing to loosen its injured reserve rules.

    In 2012, the league began allowing each team to designate one player for return, meaning he could come back from injured reserve after eight weeks. Last year, the league altered that rule and didn’t require teams to identify that player in advance. And now the league may allow teams to bring two players back.

    Judy Battista of NFL Network reports that NFL owners are expected to pass a proposal to allow a second player to come off injured reserve during the season. The owners are meeting on Monday in Chicago.

    The NFL seems to be gradually moving in the direction of loosening restrictions on rosters, and it wouldn’t be surprising if in the next few years we see other moves, such as an expansion of the 53-player regular-season roster or the 46-player game day roster. Changing injured reserve rules is a baby step, but it’s a step in that direction.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Judy Battista

    NFL owners are also expected to approve the proposal that was previously tabled to reduce regular season OT from 15 to 10 minutes.
    8:06 AM - 17 May 2017

  4. #4
    Less commercial breaks too. That's a needed change.

  5. #5
    If they are shortening OT because of player safety, just go back to sudden death.

  6. #6
    Marvin Lewis on new celebration rule: Not a good example for young people


    4:28 PM ET

    • Katherine TerrellESPN Staff Writer

    CINCINNATI -- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn’t cheering the NFL’s new relaxed stance on touchdown celebrations.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that the league will soften its strict policies on touchdown celebrations, allowing players to bring back group celebrations, use the football as a prop and get on the ground to celebrate. Many players complained last season about inconsistent and overly strict application of celebration penalties.

    “I’m not for that at all,” Lewis, who is on the NFL Competition Committee, said of the change. “We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, you want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way, and that’s not a very good example for young people.”

    Lewis said he didn’t like the idea of emphasizing individuals in a team sport.

    “The rules were changed for a reason, and I thought we had a good outcome,” he said. “Again, this is a team game, and ... I don’t understand why we want to give in to individual celebrations.”

    Lewis coached Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, two players who came to define the era of “excessive celebration.” Johnson, in particular, was known for his outlandish celebrations, which included him donning a poncho and sombrero on the bench, doing a river dance, pretending to perform CPR on a football and using the pylon to putt the ball.

    However, despite the numerous fines Johnson was hit with during his 10 seasons in Cincinnati, he was penalized only twice for unsportsmanlike conduct and once for taunting.

    Owens, who was only in a Bengals uniform during the 2010 season, had several antics before that, including signing a football with a permanent marker, throwing popcorn in the air and running to the middle of the Dallas Cowboys star and celebrating there.

  7. #7
    The NFL has adopted several rule changes that will affect how rosters are constructed, as well as how the game is played.

    Roster Cuts

    At the Spring League Meeting in Chicago on Tuesday, one of the biggest changes NFL owners approved is to eliminate the first roster cut-down period, which used to force teams to trim their roster to 75 before the final preseason game. Now, there will be just one roster cut down day following the fourth preseason game, which is from a 90-man roster to 53. Teams are free to cut players at any time, but will only be required to make one cut, from 90 to 53.

    This is good news for fringe players looking to make one final bid for a spot on a 53-man roster or practice squad. This also will allow teams to play more of their fringe players in the final game of the preseason.

    Because the roster was normally cut down to 75 while teams also rested many, if not all of their starters in that final preseason game, there are often not enough bodies to ensure an adequate game is played. Now, there will be more bodies available for that final game, and it will help teams not have to play key players, if they don’t want to.

    IR-Designation to Return

    Another change involving NFL rosters features two players now being able to return from injured reserve via the IR designation to return. Previously, the rule allowed just one player to return from the list, though most teams have more than one injured player capable of returning at some point in the season.

    That was a quandary the Bengals faced last year when running back Cedric Peerman and cornerback William Jackson III were both able to come off of IR, but Peerman ended up getting the one and only nod. Had this new rule been in place, both players would have been able to come off IR.

    Overtime Shortened

    NFL owners also approved shortening overtime in the preseason and regular season from 15 to 10 minutes. The hope is to shorten games that are forced into an extra session while also preventing the dreaded tie.

    15 minutes gives both teams ample time to go down the field and hit a field goal to extend the overtime period. Cutting it down to 10 minutes would increase the chance that only one team scores within the first 10 minutes. It also may sway teams to go for touchdowns more often on their first possession as opposed to settling for field goals.
    The Bengals lead the NFL in ties during the last 15 years, so, maybe this will be a positive change for Cincinnati.

    The No Fun League is Allowing More Fun

    One final change the NFL made is relaxing rules on celebrations. In a letter to fans from Roger Goodell, the league said it wants to allow players "more room to have fun after they make big plays."

    Previously, many kinds of celebrations were outlawed and led to big fines and penalties when executed. It looks like the league is more willing to allow a little extracurricular celebration after scoring plays.

    However, any celebrations that contain offensive demonstrations, are prolonged or those that delay the game, as well as celebrations directed at an opponent will still be penalized. That seems like a fair tradeoff, no?

    Ian Rapoport

    Al Riveron, head of refs, says it's still possible to get a 15-yarder for an illegal celebration -- taunting, weapon imagery, etc.
    1:21 PM - 23 May 2017

  8. #8
    Roger Goodell: Players will prove Marvin Lewis wrong on celebrations

    7:26 PM ET

    • Katherine TerrellESPN Staff Writer

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis aren't going to see eye-to-eye on touchdown celebrations anytime soon.

    The NFL announced Tuesday it would be relaxing its stance on celebration penalties, allowing once-banned group celebrations to return. Players can also now use the ball as a prop, although penalties deemed violent or obscene are still banned.

    Lewis, who is on the NFL competition committee, said Tuesday that he didn't agree with the relaxation of the rules because it promotes individual players over the team. Goodell didn't agree.

    "Well I've heard it from Marvin before," Goodell said at the NFL owners' meetings in Chicago. "We've had these discussions over the last couple of years. And I think the players will prove him wrong on that. I think the players will do this in a way that will be responsible and show good sportsmanship and do it in a way that I think is entertaining but also respectful."

    Lewis said he thought relaxing the rules would set a bad example for younger players.

    "I'm not for that at all," he said. "We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, you want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way, and that's not a very good example for young people."

    He added: "The rules were changed for a reason, and I thought we had a good outcome. Again, this is a team game, and ... I don't understand why we want to give in to individual celebrations."

    Lewis is the former coach of wide receivers Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens, two players whose outlandish celebrations were considered part of the reason the NFL began adopting a tougher stance on the issue. Johnson was fined so often for his celebrations that he took out a sign during the game that read "Dear NFL, please don't fine me again!"

    However, Johnson was only penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct during his tenure with the Bengals.

  9. #9
    heard on the radio this morning that there were only 20 plays played after the 10 minute mark of overtime last year.

    So the OT rule shouldn't change much.

    But I ask, if changing it from 15 to 10 won't do much, then why change it at all?

  10. #10
    Brandon LaFell vows to bring back the 'Bob N Weave' in 2017

    Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt celebrated in the end zone after a touchdown at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis in October of 1999. James A. Finley/AP Photo
    2:00 PM ET

    • Katherine TerrellESPN Staff Writer

    CINCINNATI -- Brandon LaFell's eyes lit up when he heard about the NFL announcing its new policy on touchdown celebrations.

    He's got plans.

    "It's going to be live this year," he said.

    LaFell quickly rattled off possibilities for touchdown celebrations, most notably bringing back the "Bob N Weave," a group celebration made popular by the Rams "Greatest Show on Turf" offense in 1999. The NFL voted to impose fines on group celebrations in 2000, with the Bob N' Weave one of its top targets, causing the dance to fade out long before LaFell entered the league.

    LaFell's receivers coach during his years with the Panthers was Ricky Proehl, who was a member of that Rams unit from 1998 to 2002.

    "I said, if I ever score, and I couldn't get a penalty, I was going to do the Bob N Weave," LaFell said. "I told him I was going to do that for him, so Rick, I'm going to do that for you this year."

    As for the Bengals' most celebrated dancer, Jeremy Hill, he said he's got something up his sleeve as well. Hill has become known for his touchdown dances, although he has never drawn a penalty for any of them.

    "That's interesting," he said. "I've got a lot of ideas in mind."

    He's not revealing any of them yet.

    "I never share, I never share," Hill said with a smile. "It ruins the fun. You've got to bust it out when you bust it out. So hopefully I get in there a couple of more times."
    But if quarterback Andy Dalton has anything in mind should he score, he's not saying. He just laughed and shook his head.

    Dalton did have one question: Are players allowed to dunk over the goal posts now?

    Considering that particular celebration was banned shortly after Jimmy Graham caused a delay in the game by knocking Atlanta's crossbars off kilter in 2014, that one seems more unlikely. The NFL says celebrations that delay the game are still prohibited.

    Still, with the NFL clearly attempting to let the players have more fun with their celebrations in 2017, there's likely to be some gray area.

    "I do think there's a fine line," said Bengals tackle and NFLPA president Eric Winston. "I have a son, who, every time we go watch a baseball game he wants to emulate exactly what he sees, so obviously there is a fine line there, but ... I think you're supposed to let your personality show. I think you're supposed to let who you are show and if you want to celebrate, you want to do something quickly. I don't think it should be a fine, or penalized. So I'm glad to see that change."


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