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Rules Changes for the '04 NFL Season


About Football outlines all the significant NFL rules changes for the 2004 NFL season:

• In response to choreographed celebrations such as Joe Horn's cell phone call or Terrell Owens Sharpie incident, officials have been authorized to flag players for excessive celebration. The infraction, which carries a 15-yard penalty against the offending team, will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and the yardage will be marked off from the spot at the end of the previous play or, after a score, on the ensuing kickoff. If the infraction is ruled flagrant by the officials, the player can be ejected.

• In addition to the numbers 80-89, wide receivers will now be allowed to use numbers 10-19.

• Practice squads have been expanded from five to eight players.

• A timeout may now be called by any player or the head coach.

• In previous seasons, teams were given just two coaches' challenges. This season, teams will be awarded a third coaches' challenge if their first two are successful.

• A punt or missed field goal that is untouched by the receiving team is dead once it touches either the end zone or any member of the kicking team in the end zone.

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