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NFL Announces Four Rule Changes For 2017 Season


Quarterback Derek Carr and Defensive End Khalil Mack

Scoring touchdowns is hard, *really *hard in fact, so in 2017, the NFL is going to let players have a little fun when they get to the end zone.

Tuesday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a memo saying that while there will still be rules and regulations regarding acceptable end zone behavior, there will be a loosening of the restrictions for players after they make reservations for six.

"Earlier this spring, we announced plans to deliver a more exciting game experience, with changes to improve the pace of the game and minimize unnecessary disruptions to the action on the field," wrote Goodell. "We also took important steps on health and safety, including approving new rules prohibiting the "leaper" block attempt—a top priority from our players.

Today, we are excited to tell you about another change that comes after conversations with more than 80 current and former players: we are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays."

Now allowed after touchdowns are group demonstrations, as well as celebrating on the ground, and using the football as a prop.

For mild-mannered wide receiver Amari Cooper though, the new rules don't affect him as much as some of his more excitable teammates.

"That doesn't impact anything," said a coy Cooper when asked about the rule amendment.

In addition to the updated mandate on celebrations, there were several other rule changes that were approved by the NFL owners at the Spring League Meeting, including the abolishment of the roster reduction to 75 players.

Instead of reducing the roster from 90 to 75, and then the final 53, there will now be just cut down day, where clubs across the league reduce their rosters from 90 players to 53.

"I think it's a good move for our league," Head Coach Jack Del Rio explained. "That fourth [preseason] game can be real difficult. I think for those young men that have fought their way through. I think a lot of those guys, you know at the end you're making decisions on who you're going to keep for your practice squad. Who you're going to keep at the end of your roster for your 53. I think it's a healthy transition. I'm not sure that extra week, when we're playing on a short week, everybody is going to play on that Thursday and it comes so quick."

Other rules that will also take effect in 2017 are that teams will now be able to designate two players to return from injured reserve instead of one as it was in seasons previous.

Also, all overtime periods will now be shortened from 15 minutes to ten in 2017 and beyond.

"I know that they [the NFL] wanted to cut the number of snaps that we were taking in the regular season," Del Rio said. "Taking five minutes off that period certainly would help that process. I think that would mean that last year's Tampa game would have been a tie. So, obviously we'll figure that in in terms of strategy. And like somebody mentioned earlier about the situations, that's what we're doing at this time of year. We're  not only working on our system, but the situations that we're going to be in during the fall, and how we can best prepare ourselves to be ready for those situations."

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