NFL reportedly considering rule change banning players from running onto the field for celebrations

After two seasons of relaxed rules that resulted in planned, large-scale, group celebrations that hurt nobody and only enhanced the league's level of entertainment, the NFL is reportedly weighing a new rule that would curtail those group celebrations. 

According to The Washington Post's Mark Maske, the NFL will consider a rule that would ban players from running onto the field from the sideline to partake in celebrations. Violators of the rule, if passed, would be penalized 15 yards. A source told The Washington Post that "there are some coaches and some clubs who don't want to have players leaving the bench area to participate."

Just because the league is considering the rule doesn't mean it'll be presented to owners at the annual league meetings in March. It might not lead to anything other than discussions at the combine. But if it does make it that far, it would need to carry the support of 24 of 32 owners in order to be passed.

Looking back at some of the group celebrations that took place this past season, not all of them featured players running out onto the field to join in. Group celebrations would still continue even if the rule is passed, they would just be capped at 11 players. 

But as one example, the Bengals would've been flagged last September when injured running back Joe Mixon ran out onto the field to celebrate A.J. Green's game-winning touchdown.

NFL Game Pass

The proposed rule is still in the discussion phase, so we'll save most of our criticisms for a later point -- like, say, after the rule is passed. But for now, we'll only say that this appears to an example of the NFL trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. 

Football is supposed to be fun. Sometimes, rule changes must be made that make the game less fun for the sake of important things like player safety. It's why the kickoff has undergone massive changes in recent years. Nobody likes seeing touchbacks, but there's a reason why we don't see as many returns. They're dangerous. Group celebrations, on the other hand, are both fun and harmless. There's no reason to curtail them. 

In the meantime, instead of trying to legislate fun, the NFL might want to figure out how they're going to eliminate historically awful blown calls like the one that cost the Saints a spot in the Super Bowl.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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