NFL: New Rules for 2017
The NFL announced this week that they have adjusted some rules for the 2017 season. They like to constantly tinker with the rules, which is annoying, but some of these are good and may actually benefit the Bills.
Rule #1 - Celebrations
First change, and a very welcomed one, is the rule on celebrations. The No Fun League as it was dubbed since the rule came into effect prohibited players from celebrating their touchdowns. As Buffalo fans, that sometimes was the best part. With no playoffs we need something to laugh about.
The official change is: Following a touchdown, using the football as a prop will be permitted as well as celebrating on the ground and group demonstrations. That's great!
There are still some celebrations that are not allowed: Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent will still be penalized.
My Take: Finally they allow some fun back into the game! Now if we can get some offensive players to score we might see a celebration! One can dream...
Rule #2 - Overtime
Overtime is currently one 15 minute quarter, where each team will get a chance with the ball unless the team with the ball first scores a TD, that ends the game. Not a bad system, and it fixed teams winning the coin toss and kicking a Field Goal to end the game.
The new overtime will only be 10 minutes long. Might not seem like a big deal, but what that does is allow the team who gets the ball first to get into position and run the clock down so the other team will not have a lot of time to run their offense.
My Take: Dumb change that is disguised as a player safety move. Yeah 5 less minutes will stop so many injuries. The Bills can't even make it out of Preseason without losing half the team, OT wasn't the issue!
Rule #3 - One Cutdown
Instead of having two cut days where the summer roster is trimmed prior to the fourth preseason game from 90 to 75 and once again from 75 to 53 less than a week later, all teams will have one cutdown deadline, from 90 to 53, following their final preseason games. This change is expected to prevent injuries to key reserve players as most starters don’t participate in the final preseason game.
My Take: I don't really care either way, but I do feel like this will prevent players from getting picked up on other teams when they get cut. The Bills don't have to worry about this because we only use cut players!
Rule #4 - Injured Reserve
Two players are now allowed to return from Injured Reserve as opposed to one. Players designated to return are eligible to practice after six weeks on IR and play after eight weeks. This allows players who suffer injuries at an early point of the season to come back for potentially significant games late in the season.
My Take: This is HUGE for the Bills because we lead the league in gimpy players. Unfortunately for this change to really help us they would need to allow 10 players to return!