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Players not in uniform banned from leaving sideline to celebrate

Charean Williams

The Competition Committee considered preventing players from leaving the sideline to join in on-field celebrations. They didn’t go that far, but they have made a slight tweak to the celebration rule.

Group celebrations still can occur this season as long as they happen within 40 seconds. That part hasn’t changed.

What has changed is players not in uniform cannot participate in on-field celebrations.

“What started to happen is we had everybody and their family came on the field to celebrate,” Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, said during the league’s officiating clinic over the weekend. “. . .The rule now says if you’re not an actively dressed member of the 46-man squad, you cannot come onto the field to celebrate. Again, you must be active and dressed to come on to celebrate, and you’ve still got to do it within the 40 seconds.”

But dressed players coming off the sideline are not required to wear their helmets to participate in on-field celebrations.