The NFL’s owners approved a few rule changes for the upcoming season that could have an effect on the Minnesota Vikings as early as training camp.
In Chicago on Tuesday, owners of each NFL team came together for their annual Spring League Meeting. A number of proposed rule changes were voted on by the owners and the league has announced that some of these proposals have already been approved for the 2017 season.
Some of these rule changes include a shorter overtime period, more leniency regarding touchdown celebrations, and a shorter cut-down period in the preseason.
If for some reason the Minnesota Vikings and one of their opponents next season are locked in a tie at the end of regulation, now each team will only have a 10-minute overtime period to try and win the game.
The NFL says the shortened amount of time will not result in more ties, but that seems a little misleading. Especially since the amount of ties in the NFL would have increased by 220 percent in the last five seasons if overtime only lasted for 10 minutes.
But if a member of the Vikings happens to score a touchdown in an overtime game this year, he can now at least celebrate with his teammates or even use the ball as a prop. The NFL announced on Tuesday that its players will have more freedom of expression in 2017 as it will ease up on their previous rules regarding celebrations.
However, there are still some post-touchdown acts that will subject a team to being penalized.
“Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and celebrations directed at an opponent, will still be penalized.”
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Owners also approved a rule that will now change when Minnesota has to decide which players from their offseason 90-man roster will make up their regular season 53-man roster. Instead of one round of cuts after their third preseason game and then their final cuts coming after the fourth preseason game, all of the Vikings’ roster reduction moves will now happen after their fourth and final game of the preseason.
The last week of the preseason should be a bit more exciting for Minnesota’s fans to watch as even more players will be fighting for a regular season roster spot during that game. For those wondering, this essentially guarantees Vikings wide receiver Moritz Böhringer the chance to play in four preseason games if he is still on the roster at the start training camp.
But after that final preseason game, the stress level of Minnesota’s coaches and front office personnel should be very high as they attempt to trim their roster from 90 to 53.
Lastly, the league’s owners approved a proposal that will allow each team to assign two players to injured reserve with a designation to return later in the season. Teams were previously only allowed one such player designation per year, but now they will be able to have two per season.
This would have possibly come in handy for the Vikings last year when it seemed like half of their roster was on injured reserve.