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New overtime and roster cut rules highlight 2017 changes

Posted May 24, 2017

The NFL owners voted on several new rule changes for 2017:


The winds of change blew out of Chicago this week.

At the NFL’s spring meeting in the Windy City, owners approved a handful of rule changes, one of them being shorter overtimes. In the preseason and regular season, overtime will now be 10 minutes instead of 15.

"We think this is an important change, particularly for teams that may be into an overtime situation and a lengthy overtime situation that may have to come back and play on a Thursday night, so this is another positive change," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Over the last five seasons, there have been 83 overtime games, according to NFL Research, and 22 of them have extended past the 10-minute mark. The average length of overtime in the last five seasons is 7 minutes, 42 seconds. Five games ended in ties during that span, including two last season. If overtime had ended after 10 minutes, there would have been 16 total ties.

The Giants are 19-15-2 in regular-season overtime games. In the postseason, they are 2-2, including wins in the 2007 and 2011 NFC Championship Games that led to Super Bowl victories.

Overtime isn’t the only change coming.

As we posted earlier on Giants.com, the league is relaxing the rules on celebrations “to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays.” Examples of what will be allowed after scores under the new policy include using the football as a prop after a TD, celebrating on the ground, and group demonstrations.

Here is a look at other news out of Chicago:

•  There will be only one roster cut-down as teams make the 53-man deadline. Previously, teams first pared the roster from 90 to 75 players. Now they will go straight from 90 to 53.

•  The league added an additional opening for a player to return from injured reserve. Now two players, instead of one, can be re-activated after spending at least eight weeks on injured reserve.

•  Owners voted to relocate the site of Super Bowl LV from Los Angeles to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. L.A. will host the following year due to delays in the building of the Rams-Chargers joint stadium.

•  Following the success of its first year in Orlando, the Pro Bowl will return to Camping World Stadium on Jan. 28. The game will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and simulcast on ABC, marking the first time it will air on both broadcast and cable networks.