The NFL eased the rules on celebrations this week, but shooting a bow and arrow may still be forbidden.
Last year the NFL fined and flagged players who mimed shooting a bow and arrow, saying there’s no place for pretending to have a weapon on the field. This year’s relaxed celebration rules still don’t allow anything relating to weapons, so it appears the bow and arrow is still outlawed.
Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, who along with Josh Norman was among the players who employed the bow and arrow in celebrations, would like some clarity on whether or not it’s allowed.
“It’s for God, so if that’s threatening, then I think we’ve got a problem, but I’m going to be respectful,” Cooks said. “If it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty. I’m not going to do anything to hurt the team.”
The NFL has specifically carved out an exception to the penalty against going to the ground for players who are going to the ground in prayer, so if Cooks says his celebration is religious in nature, perhaps the NFL will make an exception for him as well.
Regardless, even with the newly relaxed rules, players aren’t clear on exactly where the lines are drawn. There will be fewer celebration penalties this year, but the controversy isn’t going away entirely.