Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf has made a name for himself in the NFL as a productive playmaker and monster athlete but has had trouble avoiding penalties for his trash-talking antics and post-touchdown celebrations.
The fifth-year wide receiver found a unique way to get around those issues while still talking trash this season.
DK Metcalf Uses Sign Language in Celebration
It’s been a bit of a down 2023 season by Metcalf’s standards of past production at 43 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns through 10 appearances this season, with one game missed due to injury.
That production is a bit off the pace of his breakout 2020 campaign when Metcalf hauled in 83 passes for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns, and perhaps even behind pace a bit to reach last year’s tallies of 90 catches for 1,048 yards and six scores.
Metcalf added one touchdown to his tally during the Seahawks’ 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 19, however, as Geno Smith found him for an eight-yard score for the game’s first points from either team. Metcalf then debuted a rather unique celebration after the play that was later discovered to be sign language.
Some speculated that Metcalf signed “44, my son” about Rams cornerback Akhello Witherspoon, who wears No. 44 and was covering Metcalf on the touchdown play.
That raises an important question: When did Metcalf pick up sign language?
Metcalf revealed back in October on The Rich Eisen Show that he had begun learning American Sign Language (ASL) on his days away from football to find another outlet for his trash-talking that would not result in penalties.
“I take ASL now on my off days,” Metcalf told Patrick. “I kept getting flags for my mouthing, so I gotta sign my s***-talking now. That’s what I gotta do to keep myself busy.”
“I take ASL now on my off days,” D.K. Metcalf recently told Dan Patrick. “I kept getting flags for my mouthing, so I gotta sign my s***-talking now. That’s what I gotta do to keep myself busy.”pic.twitter.com/dlmx3Ekgnu
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 1, 2023
The above touchdown against the Cowboys seemed to provide Metcalf with the perfect opportunity to break out the sign language celebration and avoid any potentially costly penalties.
For those wondering, he signed “Standing on buisness.”
It’s certainly a unique way of working around the NFL’s rules on taunting and excessive celebration, one that might keep Metcalf free from repercussions if the league deems it a more acceptable avenue for expressing his emotions. Now that knowledge of the practice has spread, though, perhaps officials will begin keeping an eye out for it.
Either way, Metcalf also told Patrick that an official understanding of what he says in sign language would not faze him and would instead merely provide another person to share the language with on game days.
“I’ll just be talking to him on the side,” Metcalf said. “We’ll have our dialogue. It’s somebody else to talk to.”
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