NFL owners have approved four significant rule changes for 2017.

1. Celebration Rule Changes

Commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement today about how the league will relax player celebration penalties with new guidelines.

"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.

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements."

Players will be allowed to use the football as a prop, celebrate on the ground and take part in group celebrations with teammates, all of which were penalties prior to today's change.

Taunting, suggestive acts (for example, Antonio Brown's twerking) and prolonged celebrations will still result in an unsportsmanlike penalty.


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2. 90 man cut down day

Team will now cut their roster from 90 players to 53 days before the regular season. Under the old rule, teams would trim rosters from 90 to 75 before the final preseason game, then 75 to 53 in the last cut down day.

The noticeable difference will be in the final preseason when expected starters never participate anyway.


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3. Overtime period goes from 15 to 10 minutes in the regular season

The result could be more games ending in ties. The fact the league is keeping overtime periods in the postseason at 15 minutes doesn't really matter, considering the postseason calls for games to reach a 2nd overtime and beyond until one team wins and one team loses.


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4. Two short-term Injured Reserve spots

For the first 47 years of the NFL, once a player was placed on IR (injured reserve), he was not allowed to return to the active roster until the following season. A few years ago, the NFL began allowing teams to place on player on an IR-Designated To Return list, allowing the designated player to return to the active 53 man roster after a minimum of 8 weeks.  Now teams can designate two players on the list, making it a little easier for coaches to juggle their rosters.