Major shakeups or changes that will affect this NFL season
Overlooking the “kneeling” subject that has plagued this year’s season, there are other issues within the NFL have an effect on yours and the players ability to enjoy the game.
In their spring 2017 meeting, NFL team owners passed several major rule changes that will affect this NFL season. Among them is a new rule on how fans and players alike will be able to celebrate victory on the field. Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote the following in an open letter to NFL fans:
“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.
In my conversations with NFL players, it was also clear how much our players care about sportsmanship, clean competition, and setting good examples for young athletes. That is why offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized.”
This is good news, and seems to strike a good balance between restricting any display of emotion whatsoever and celebratory activities that delay a game or are out of line with the tenets of good sportsmanship. What was not clear from Goodell’s letter is what will be defined as “offensive”.
Overtime was shortened from 15 to 10 minutes, although the same modified sudden death rules remain in place. Player safety was cited as the reason for this rule change. According to the NFL’s research, this rule change should not necessarily result in an increase of tie scores moving forward. In the 2017 season, teams will be able to designate two players who have been on the reserve injured list for at least six weeks to return to the field, although they cannot play in a game until eight weeks have passed. In another rule change, the NFL decided that all roster cuts will now take place on the same day.
The use of medical tents to assess and assist injured players at the time of their injury is yet another change for the 2017 season. Commissioner Goodell announced this change in a recent press conference, stating medical tents on the football field present an opportunity for better examinations of player injuries by offering a short period of privacy to enable doctors to make the appropriate diagnosis. Medical tents on the field are not unprecedented, as they have been used in the past on the collegiate level.