National Football League shortens overtime to 10 minutes

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown , Icon Sports Wire Icon Sportswire Getty Images

Citing player safety, National Football League owners have shortened the overtime period from 15 to 10 minutes for the 2017 season. The most significant change would be allowing group celebrations, which previously were subject to a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct as well as a fine.

According to Operations.NFL.com, 526 regular-season games have been decided in overtime, with the most recent example being the New England Patriots' win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been listening, and spoke with more than 80 current and former players about coming to a resolution.

At their regularly scheduled spring meeting Tuesday, the owners also chose to shift the 2021 Super Bowl to Tampa from Los Angeles, where construction delays have pushed back the expected opening of the new home for the Rams and Chargers.

"Players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves", Goodell wrote.

Brown was fined twice for end-zone dances last season, including one for the twerking celebration against Washington.

The rule change is aimed at helping to improve player safety.

May 23, 2017Prolonged acts, miming weapons, offensive gestures, sexually suggestive stuff still expected to be banned.

"In my conversations with National Football League players", Goodell continued, "it was also clear how much our players care about sportsmanship, clean competition, and setting good examples for young athletes". Teams will also have more players for the fourth preseason game, when many coaches are just looking to keep their key players healthy heading into the regular season and get one final look at bubble players and practice squad possibilities.

The change covers preseason and regular-season contests. The new rule allows two players to be placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list.

The league will still penalize players for demonstrations that prolong or delay the game, offensive celebrations, and ones directed at an opponent. Both games were played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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