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NFL to reduce overtime period length, add one option for IR return

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One rule makes sense, one does not.

The NFL had its major rule change owners’ meetings back in March, but they will be making some additional changes at the May meetings. The league tabled several rule proposals in March, and they are set to approve two of them when they meet next week. The two changes:

  1. Overtime will be reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.
  2. Teams will be allowed to bring a second player off injured reserve.

The overtime reduction does not really make much sense. If the NFL claims it is for health and safety reasons, that will be entirely nonsense. They might think it is, but it would be the crappiest of window-dressing on the problem. If the NFL actually cared about player healthy and safety, they would get rid of Thursday Night Football. But it is a chance to make a sizable chunk of money, and we know they like money. It’s fine to want to make more money, but I’d prefer they at least acknowledge it, rather than pretending TNF has no impact on player health. With this rule change, the only outcome is we’ll get more ties. Maybe the NFL really wants more ties.

The second rule is a helpful one. The NFL used to allow nobody back from injured reserve. A few years back, they changed it so that when a team placed a player on IR, they could designate him to return at a later date. Last year, they changed it so you did not need to make that preliminary designation. You just announced it at a later date when you decided who it would be. This move would increase that from one player to two players. Teams must wait at least eight weeks after placing a player on IR to activate him.