GREEN BAY – The Lambeau Leap isn’t going anywhere, but the Packers may need to hurry it up a little with the recent NFL rules changes regarding celebrations.
The league will provide more leeway for player celebrations this season, including group celebrations, but there are a few “pace-of-game initiatives” the NFL will emphasize in 2017.
One of those includes the resetting of the 40-second play clock once the official signaling touchdown drops his hands. If the touchdown is confirmed upstairs prior to 20 seconds elapsing, the clock will continue to tick down until an extra point or two-point conversion is attempted.
So while more Packers players could theoretically get involved in Lambeau Leaps after touchdowns, it’ll be incumbent on the team to get back for the extra point or risk a delay-of-game penalty.
“We have a few pace-of-game initiatives designed to make sure that we’re putting a good product for our spectators,” said NFL referee Carl Cheffers during the annual media session for rule changes and points of emphasis on Thursday.
“So back to (the) theory, all 11 could go in (the stands), but they have 40 seconds to get the extra point off. So it’s probably going to preclude them from doing more than a couple.”
The new celebration rules also allow players to celebrate on the ground and use the football as a prop, but no other objects in the field of play may be utilized.
“We really have refined what we’re looking for as far as a foul goes,” Cheffers said. “We’re going to give them a lot more freedom. We have a 40-second clock going…so they’re going to do their thing and then move on.”
Dunking the football through the uprights, like Packers receiver Davante Adams did in last year’s regular-season finale against Detroit, will still draw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Cheffers and his crew arrived Thursday and spent most of Friday in meetings with the Packers, more specifically the receivers and linemen, answering questions about the legality of different techniques.
They’ll also work Saturday night’s annual Family Night practice inside Lambeau Field.