This week the NFL owners are set to meet to make some decisions on three issues:
- Reducing the length of OT from 15 to 10 minutes.
- Allowing more celebrations without the risk of penalty
- Allowing teams to bring 2 players back from IR per season.
All three are interesting in their own right, and with it being the off-season, why not bring a little attention to league wide issues.
There is some negativity around the overtime rule change potentially increasing the amount of ties in football. Looking at the statistical data as NFL.com did. There has never been a season with more than 2 ties since the overtime rules were introduced in 1974. However with a 10 minute OT instead of 15 minute OT, there would have been an average of 3.2 ties per person. I don't think anyone is going to like that.
Why are they doing it? Player safety. Less plays, less damage on the body and more protection for the players, especially those coming off OT and having to play on short rest.
On the flip side, if the NFL does decide to allow more celebrations, it may go some way to disregarding the popular "no fun league" tag that has been established over the last 5-10 years. I always find the penalties given for excessive celebration, completely ridiculous. NFL officials should not have to judge in the moment what is and isn't excessive. In reality, most celebrations are entertaining and add to the game experience.
At the moment, players are prohibited from going to the ground with their celebration, celebrating in a group or using the ball as a prop. In my opinion, they should all be shelved. By all means, allow the NFL to look and fine players post game for vulgar celebrations, but let the players have fun out there.
Allowing a 2nd player to return from injured reserve is likely to be another popular move. Before 2012, if you were placed on IR, your season was over... even if you were able to return late in the season. After that date, one player could be added to the active roster despite being placed on IR, and if the new rule is approved, extending that to two players is nothing but a positive to me. NFL teams, fans and sponsors want to see the best players on the pitch whenever possible, so why wouldn't you introduce this rule.
We'll find out this week if the rules are approved, but it's widely believed that they all will be.