We have previously discussed the excessive celebration rule in the NFL (I am rather old school and I do not like seeing the growing signature celebrations of players). However, not since Bill Gramatica has a player put himself on the injured list due to his celebratory dance. That distinction rests with Detroit Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch.
In the video below, Tulloch celebrates a sack of Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter of Sunday’s game. His rather acrobatic move results in his being helped off the field and sitting out the second quarter.
You may recall in 2001 when former Arizona placekicker Bill Gramatica tore an ACL while celebrating a converted field goal in 2001. Not only did the celebration thin the Lions lines but the Packers then capitalized on it for a 59 yard march.
The Lions are now playing their fifth nickel of the season due to injuries.
It raises an interesting question of when NFL players cost a team dearly with a completely unnecessary action like this one. With a team that has to be winnowed down to just over 50 players, each slot is incredibly valuable to a team. This is not how the team wants to have to burn a slot. Under the old celebration rule, the player would have been acting outside the scope of his responsibilities in such a display and could conceivably be alleged as a breach of his agreement with the team. Today, players are being allowed to develop elaborate dances and gestures to celebrate successes on the football field.
Finally, the Bears win over the Jets was sweet tonight. I will note that it was a line almost entirely composed of secondary players when the critical drive ended. It was great to see these guys given a chance to play and to do so well. However, it has been a devastating loss of starting players as we head into the blood match with the Packers.