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League, players’ union agree to new IR rule

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 30, 2012 – 3:36 pm

The NFL and the NFL Players’ Association have agreed to a new injured reserve exemption that had just been rejected by the players’ union last week. The two sides also agreed to move back the annual trading deadline two weeks.

The new IR rule will allow one player placed on IR to be eligible to return to the active roster during the season, following a minimum of eight weeks. The player must be designated as a possible returnee when he is placed on IR, and each team gets only one such exemption.

Because teams have already trimmed their rosters to 75, teams could still designate a player already placed on IR as their one exemption, but they’ll have to follow a special procedure to do it. That player will have to be removed from IR and placed on the 53-man active roster at the cutdown deadline, by 8 p.m. CT Friday night. Then, after 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Sept. 4, that player can be placed back on IR with the exemption, and another player can be signed to take his place on the 53-man roster.

There had been speculation that Packers LB Desmond Bishop could be a candidate for the new IR rule. He was placed on IR earlier this week as the Green Bay roster was reduced to 75, and GM Ted Thompson indicated that Bishop’s situation wasn’t affected by the potential rule change. Now that the rule has been approved, if the Packers do indeed want to give Bishop a chance to return this season, he’ll have to be one of the 53 players on the active roster at the cutdown deadline Friday night.

As for the trading deadline, it has been moved back to the Tuesday following the Week 8 games. It had previously been the Tuesday following the Week 6 games.


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