Ever since the bust-up between Odell Beckham Jr and Josh Norman last year, the NFL has hit down hard on any sort of taunting or excessive celebration this season.
That means all NFL players are not allowed to do anything in front of opposition players that could be seen as taunting or excessive celebration. This includes but not limited to twerking, pumping, and boasting.
It also includes flexing your muscles, and San Francisco 49ers' running back Carlos Hyde found that out the hard way.
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During a play in the second quarter of the Thursday night football game between the Niners and the Arizona Cardinals, Hyde caught a pass out of the backfield, ran for a first down. He was then knocked to the ground by Cardinals' Marcus Cooper and Tony Jefferson.
In a show of strength and celebration of his first down, the running back flexed his muscles in front of the opposition players, which caused the referee in the vicinity to through his flag and he was hit with a taunting penalty. If he had caused that kind of penalty again, Hyde would have been ejected from the game.
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Ultimately, the penalty changed the drive completely, as rather than being on their own 39-yard line for their next set of downs, the 49ers were pushed back to their own 24-yard line due to the 15-yard penalty. Three plays later, the Niners would throw an interception, to which the Cardinals capitalised upon and scored a touchdown.
It's so risky for players to celebrate after plays these days in the NFL without getting a penalty. The best way to do so would probably be in front of your own teammates if you don't want to be ejected and miss the rest of the game. Hyde will probably be doing that from now on.
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