Owners and the league approved several rule and roster changes for the 2017 today at the league’s spring meeting in Chicago.
Overtime is now 10 minutes long
There will be more ties. Shortened from 15 minutes, all overtime periods will now be just 10 minutes long. According to the NFL, over the past five seasons 22 of 83 overtime games went beyond 10 minutes in overtime. However over that same period, only five games ended in a tie, a retroactive 10 minute overtime would have produced 16 ties.
Two players may return from injured reserve
Now two, rather than one, players may return from injured reserve after eight weeks on IR, with the ability to return to practice after six weeks.
Only one roster cut down date
The league and owners agreed to eliminating the 75 man roster in preseason, opting instead to have just one roster cut down of the reduction to 53 men. This gives coaches 15 more players for the fourth preseason game. It should also make the waiver period immediately following the 53 man roster cut down even more active.
Relaxed celebration penalties
Roger Goodell also announced that the league is relaxing the rules on celebrations after touchdowns. In three illustrations, Goodell stated that players will now be able to use the football as a prop, go to ground to celebrate, and that group celebrations are now permitted. No word on if three bumps is still a penalty.
The league tabled examining if teams should be able to hire coaches who are in playoff runs. This was brought about by the delayed hirings of Dan Quinn in 2015 and Kyle Shanahan in February.