Yesterday, the NFL made changes to a number of existing rules. These will all impact everyone in the league, but the Packers may be uniquely impacted.
Celebration penalties have been relaxed – Players can now make snow angels without received the same penalty that they would for blindside spearing a quarterback with a helmet to helmet hit. That makes sense. Group celebrations are also allowed as is using the ball as a prop. This won’t affect the Packers much at home, since they all pretty much just for the Lambeau Leap, but it will make things more fun on the road (where Davante Adams was penalized for dunking the ball over the goal post). With Martellus Bennett now the self-designated Captain of Fun, things could get more entertaining.
Only one roster reduction – Instead of cutting the squad from 90 to 75 and then later doing another cutdown from 75 to 53, there will just be one big cutdown day from 90 to 53. This will allow the Packers, in theory, to get a better look at UDFAs and other longshots. In reality, though, those guys probably never had a chance. The way the Packers run, this just means no starters will play in the 4th preseason games, they will just march out the chuds (good for them, though – get some tape and have some fun in what may be your last time under the lights).
Overtime shortened to 10 minutes – This only applies to the regular season (since we can’t really have ties in the playoffs). Outside of The Matt Flynn Redemption Tour kickoff against Minnesota getting done sooner, I can’t think of where this would have really impacted the team in the Super Bowl era. I don’t expect it to have a huge impact now, either. The Packers have won the division every time they had a regular season tie since 1988 – maybe this is a good omen.
GM job descriptions no longer have to include control of 53-man roster – This rule isn’t getting a lot of press, but it might have a deep impact the Packers. As a team with a great front office, their guys are frequently on the GM short list for other teams. Not having full roster control could make certain jobs less appealing and in effect make it easier for the Packers to retain front office talent. Which would be nice.
Teams can bring back two players from IR – The Packers always have a lot of guys on IR, so this should help at first glance. However, guys still need to be healthy enough to come off. Last year, everyone was upset that Dorleant came back instead of Shields or Lacy. As it turns out, neither of them would have been ready anyway. Still a small step in the right direction, but don’t forget our rivals also can bring back an extra guy, too.
Switch Location for Super Bowl 55 – This was supposed to be in LA, but the stadium is delayed, so now it will be in Tampa. This will just mean a slightly shorter flight for the Packers when they go.