Skip to main content

Report: NFL to loosen rules on touchdown celebrations, shorten overtime

The NFL might be getting a little more fun, at least.

Roger Goodell and the NFL are set to loosen their death grip on touchdown celebrations, the league announced Tuesday.

The news was first reported by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero. Goodell informed the league’s owners — and the public — that players can now do a number of things they could not previously do without incurring penalties.

Among the allowed moves are group celebrations, the use of the football as a prop (as opposed to a simple spike), falling to the ground, and when applicable, making snow angels, according to Pelissero.

Things that are still banned include twerking (apparently), and gestures that can be deemed offensive (understandable).

Goodell’s message to fans read, in part, as follows:

Just as NFL teams use the offseason to get better, at the league we use this time to listen to players, coaches, officials and fans about how we can continue to improve our great game.

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. 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. 

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. 

The league also passed a rule change moving the overtime period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes and eliminated the 75-man cutdown rule. Rosters will now go from 90 men to 53 before the start of the regular season.

The NFl's owners are approved a rule adding a second player who can returned from the injured reserve list, giving more teams flexibility in roster moves.