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4 game changers for the 2017 season

The NFL's team owners approved a few changes for the 2017 season at the Spring League Meetings in Chicago on Tuesday.

1. Overtime has been trimmed from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in an effort to improve player safety. There have been concerns about the number of additional plays team undergo playing a full 15-minute overtime, especially when one of the teams is playing their next game on a short week.

The change shouldn't lead to a significant increase in tie scores, according to According to NFL Research, there have been 83 overtime games over the last five seasons, 22 of them lasting at least 10 minutes into overtime (the average time elapsed in overtime in the last five years is 7 minutes, 43 seconds).

2. There will now be only one roster cut-down deadline. Instead of cutting from 90 to 75 players, there will only be one deadline to cut to 53-man rosters after the final preseason game.

The rule change essentially gives 480 players (15 per team) the chance to remain on the roster for the final preseason game, giving them one more opportunity to make a good impression.

Before the change, rosters were trimmed from 90 to 75 ahead of the final preseason game.

Now teams will have to trim 37 players at one time following the last preseason game.

3. Two players are now allowed to return off the injured reserve list during the season instead of one. Under the new rule, two players per season are eligible to return to practice if they have been on IR for at least six weeks.

They can return to games eight weeks after being put on injured reserve. This gives teams greater roster flexibility, especially late in the season.

4. In a letter to players, coaches, officials and fans, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that creative touchdown celebrations are back. To view the full letter of what is now allowed, click here.

View Detroit Lions celebratory photos from the 2016 season.

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