With less than a week to go until the NFL regular season kicks off, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed on several rule changes and new rules that have been lingering undefined since the lockout was ended last year. Among them is an alteration to the Injured Reserve (IR) rule, which now allows for one player to be designated to short-term IR. In other words, it will not mean the end to his season.
There are some very specific rules within the rule, however. Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger (soon to be USA Today) was kind enough to break them down:
- Only one player per team is allowed the short-term IR exception per season.
- Short-term IR is not transferable, so if a player suffers a set-back or is shut down for the season, the team can't slide someone else into his position.
- The team must determine and announce if an Injured Reserve player is on short-term IR at the moment of his designation.
- For this season, the player must be on the 53-man roster as of 4:00 PM EST on Tuesday in order to be available for short-term IR designation.
- Because this new rule was passed so late in the season, teams can move one player currently on IR to short-term IR by 9:00 PM Friday. This will not be allowed during any other season.
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin liked the new short-term IR rule, but would not indicated when or if the team would use it. Both cornerback Terrell Thomas and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers seem like likely candidates for it, and Rogers would completely understand it if he ended up there.
"I'm a big boy. I can handle it," Rogers said.
In addition to the short-term IR rule, the NFL moved the trade deadline back from October 16th to October 30th. So rather than having to figure out buyers and sellers just after week six, teams will now have until just after week eight to decide. All in all, it's a good decision by the NFL and may result in more trades across the league.
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