The NFL could soon make a key update to their injury report rules that could benefit a number of teams in the course of a season.
According to NFL Media’s Judy Battista, the NFL owners are expected to approve a rule proposal at next week’s league meetings that would allow teams to designate a second player to return from IR.
In recent years the NFL has begun allowing teams to designate one player to return from IR in a given season, which has helped teams considerably. If a player suffers a preseason injury and will be out for a significant period of time but not the whole season, the team would have a really tough decision to make on whether to place the player on IR or keep him on the active roster. With the IR-DFR rule, the team would be able to place him on IR and then eight weeks later activate him. The NFL a year ago changed this rule even further to make it so that teams don’t have to designate that player ahead of time but can see how the season goes (and how the injured players progress).
Adding the possibility of a second IR-DFR tag would likely continue to help teams navigate the IR decisions and would allow teams a bit more flexibility when making decisions on which players to place on injured reserve and which ones to keep on the active roster. That rule proposal makes a lot of sense.
There’s another one that is expected to pass, however, that doesn’t make as much sense. According to Battista, the owners are also expected to approve the proposal to shorten overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.
This one doesn’t make a ton of sense. The idea behind it would probably be to try to protect player safety by not having to play a 75 minute game... but is five minutes that big of a deal? Most likely, this won’t really have that big of an effect on player safety but could result in more ties. So if the NFL simply wants a couple of more games to potentially end as a tie and screw up the standings, then this rule proposal makes sense. If not? Well, then the rule proposal doesn’t make as much sense.
Either way, we’ll have to pay attention next week to see if these proposals actually pass. If they do, what would you think of them?