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NFL alters trade deadline and IR-return rules

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By: Jason Marcum

Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Some much-needed changes.

The NFL has finally made a major change to how teams handle the injured reserve list in the preseason.

Before, teams had to keep injured players on the initial 53-man roster to be eligible to play in the regular season. If a player was placed on IR during the preseason, he was ineligible to play for that team in the regular season.

Now, teams can place up to two players on IR, the physically unable to perform list, or the non-football injury list before cutting the roster to 53 players and still be eligible to return to the active roster.

An example of this came in 2021 when Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Khalid Kareem injured his shoulder in the preseason finale. The Bengals knew he needed a stint on IR but had to keep him on the initial 53-man roster so he could be eligible to play that season.

That led to the Bengals cutting veteran wideout Mike Thomas during final roster cuts, only to re-sign him days later to the 53-man roster once Kareem was placed on IR in Week 1. It worked out for the Bengals in that case, but we’ve seen before when an injured player being kept on the initial 53-man roster led to someone else being cut and landing elsewhere. The hope is that won’t happen anymore now that two players can go on IR during the preseason.

Another IR-related change: Teams in the playoffs now have unlimited returns from injured reserve if said players have missed four games.

Elsewhere, the league moved the NFL trade deadline, which will now come on the Tuesday after Week 9 games. The 2024 trade deadline is scheduled to be November 5th, compared to last year’s deadline of October 31st.

You can go here for all the rule changes made for 2024.

Originally posted on Cincy Jungle – All Posts