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NFL makes significant change to injured reserve rule

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By: Mookie Alexander

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This will have an impact on preseason roster cuts.

Amid all of the hoopla surrounding the NFL banning the hip-drop tackle and drastically changing the kickoff rules, there’s a major rule change regarding injured reserve that will impact how preseason roster cuts are handled.

Previously, if a team placed players on injured reserve (IR) during preseason, it would automatically be season-ending. That is no longer the case thanks to this amendment at the annual league meeting in Orlando.

By Competition Committee; amends Article XVII, Section 17.16(C), to permit each club to place a maximum of two players who are placed on an applicable Reserve List on the business day of the final roster reduction to be designated for return. Such players will immediately count as two of the club’s total designations.

This is an important distinction to make. Up to two players will no longer have to make the initial 53-man roster in order to be placed on IR, physically unable to perform (PUP), or non-football injury (NFI) list and still be able to return later in the regular season. Teams have a maximum of eight slots available for injured reserve players who are eligible to return in-season.

In theory, this should reduce the need for teams to do the procedural “waive, hope [Player A] clears waivers, immediately re-sign” process often seen on cutdown day to workaround the previous rules. I’d consider this a good rule change.

For another IR rule change: teams now have an unlimited number of designated for return transactions in the postseason, provided those players miss the minimum of four games.

Originally posted on Field Gulls