Report: NFL to Consider Barring Players from Leaving Sideline for Celebrations

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2019

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown, right, takes part in a dancing touchdown celebration with teammates after he caught a pass for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The NFL is considering a rule change to ban players who are on the sideline from entering the field for touchdown celebrations.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported the league's competition committee will discuss the proposal this week at the combine in Indianapolis. Players who were part of the scoring play will still be allowed to celebrate as they like, but teams would be penalized if someone from the sideline comes on the field.

The proposal comes at the behest of some teams that did not like players entering the field for celebrations.

The NFL has become increasingly lenient in its celebration rules in recent seasons. Players are allowed to celebrate individually or in a group, provided they avoid lewd actions and do not use props.

There hasn't been a major problem with half the team pouring onto the field to celebrate a score, so it's unclear why the NFL feels the need to legislate this into rule. Perhaps it's a safety issue. There is a whole group of people on the field (the defense) that isn't happy the opposing team scored. Seeing players from the sideline pour onto the field could make it likelier there's a post-score fracas.

Regardless, the rule change most will focus on in the coming week concerns instant replay. There has been a clamoring for the league to allow reviews on certain penalties after officials missed a pass interference call on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in the NFC Championship Game.

All rule changes will be voted on at the NFL owners meetings in March.