Activating a player from Injured Reserve/Designated To Return


NFL officials approved a new rule Tuesday that will double the number of players teams can bring back from injured reserve during the season. Franchises will have the opportunity to recall two players from the IR back to the active roster in 2017, allowing for greater roster flexibility for teams who lose multiple starters to injury early in the season.

What was the old IR rule?

The new rule modifies a 2012 reform that allowed teams to activate a single player from the IR once he’d spent at least eight weeks on the inactive list. Originally, these players had to be labeled as “designated to return” candidates at the time they were placed on IR — and the tag could only be used once. In 2016, a rule modification allowed teams to save that tag until a player was ready to take the field once more.

What’s the new IR rule mean?

In 2017, teams will have the same leeway, but with two players instead of one. That way, unlucky teams struck by the injury bug will...

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I was asked a very important question by a reader today via email concerning Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson, who underwent surgery on Monday to repair a Lisfranc injury that he suffered during training camp. The question centered around whether or not Golson needs to be on the team’s initial 53-man roster in order to qualify for a possible designated to return later in the season.

The short answer to that question is: Yes.

While the league did vote to amend the bylaws this past offseason concerning when a player needs to be labeled as designated to return from the injured reserve list, the old stipulation of that player needing to be on the team’s initial 53-man roster after the final round of cuts are made still remains in place to the best of my knowledge.

Below is a copy of the 2016 BYLAW PROPOSAL NO. 7:

Amend Article XVII, Section 17.16(C) of the Constitution and Bylaws to read (new language underlined, deleted language struck...

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The Steelers could be getting a major defensive reinforcement.

Linebacker and 2015 first-round pick Bud Dupree will practice Wednesday as the Steelers will mark him as their one player designated to return from injured reserve. Dupree was added to injured reserve just prior to the season with a groin injury. He missed the entire preseason.

The 21-day window for being added to the active roster begins as soon as Dupree practices. Dupree's designation to return means that fellow injured-reserve players Ryan Harris (shin) and Senquez Golson (Lisfranc) will not return to the Pittsburgh active roster this year.

Dupree had four sacks his rookie season and could help shore up a Steelers defense that ranks middle of the league in points allowed per game and in the bottom third of the league in yards allowed per game.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking Wednesday:

1. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant is considered day-to-day after seeking a...

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect to activate running back Charles Sims from injured reserve, head coach Dirk Koetter said today. The Bucs designated Sims as their injured reserve player who would return a few weeks ago.

The Bucs placed Sims on injured reserve after four games, with an eye to having him return late in the season if the team was still competitive. Turns out they are, so the team’s best receiving back will come back and play. Sims has been practicing for a couple of weeks now, but was by NFL rule not allowed to return until now.

Sims was a key cog in the team’s offense last season, putting up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage as the Bucs’ primary receiving and change of pace back behind Doug Martin. While he’s not a reliable inside grinder, he’s more explosive than Martin and should bring a new dimension to the Bucs’ offense, which has been decimated by injuries...

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NFL owners are expected to approve a rule change that would allow one additional player to return to the field, even after being placed on injured reserve. The news comes from a report from's Judy Battista.

Current NFL rules allow teams to give one player on injured reserve a designation to return. The rule requires that the player sit out at least eight weeks of action before returning to the field. Anyone else that is placed on injured reserve, though, is out for the rest of the season.

Adding another IR-return spot is a good move for the league. If teams have multiple players with long-term but not necessarily season-ending injuries, using the IR-return designation would allow them to move a different player onto the active roster and not have to worry about being quite as shorthanded during the week or on game day.

Combined with the change from last year that teams no longer have to designate their IR-return players in advance but can instead...

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The San Francisco 49ers pass defense could be getting a reinforcement. The team formally opened the 21-day practice window for rookie cornerback Will Redmond, according to the 49ers beat writers. He will not count against the 49ers roster yet, and the earliest the team can bring him back is after Week 8 comes to an end. The 49ers have a Week 8 bye, so that means Redmond would be eligible to play as soon as Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints.

The team placed him on injured reserve the Monday after final roster cuts as he continued his return from his ACL injury. He played in the latter half of the preseason, but the team clearly wasn’t comfortable getting him into regular game action.

Back on September 7, defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said he believed at the time that the plan was to bring Redmond back to the 53-man roster. His return to practice comes the same day brief nickel back Chris Davis had surgery for his own knee injury. If this season continues going...

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BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was activated from the injured reserve-designated to return list, which will make him available to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

It's a remarkable comeback for Pitta, whose dislocated hip was originally considered a season-ending injury in late July. He returned to practice on Nov. 20 and increased his workload in practice this week. On Friday, coach John Harbaugh said Pitta had a "reasonable chance" of playing.

Pitta, the second-leading receiver on last season's Super Bowl team, will provide a boost for quarterback Joe Flacco and the NFL's 29th-ranked offense. Without Pitta, the Ravens have relied on Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson, both of whom combined for 47 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns.

The Ravens waived running back Bernard Scott to make room for Pitta. Scott hadn't played in a game for the Ravens since signing on Oct. 28.

Pitta's return comes at a critical time for the...

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NFL owners will vote on a proposal during their Spring League Meetings next week allowing an additional player to return from the injured reserve each season. columnist, Judy Battista, tweeted Wednesday morning the proposal is likely to pass.

At league meeting next week, NFL owners will vote on proposal to allow a second player to come off IR in season. Likely to be approved.

— Judy Battista (@judybattista) May 17, 2017

As the rule stands, one player is allowed to return from the injured reserve each season, provided he has sat out at least eight weeks. In a rule change effective last season, teams no longer need to “designate” the player to return at the time he is placed on the injured reserve, but rather, at the time he is activated back to the roster.

Last year, the Seahawks opted to activate linebacker Mike Morgan back to the roster after he recuperated from sports hernia surgery. Despite his speedy recovery, Morgan had to...

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Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson settled into his role as a complementary target behind Julio Jones with the Atlanta Falcons, but the fifth-year pro's season has reached an abrupt end.

Continue for updates.

Hankerson Placed on Injured Reserve

Friday, Dec. 4

The Falcons announced Friday that Hankerson was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury to make room for Devin Hester, who was activated from the injured reserve-designated to return list.

Hankerson suffered the injury in a Week 11 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he was held out of the team's Week 12 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

After spending the first four years of his career with the Washington Redskins, the former third-round pick out of Miami (Florida) joined the Falcons this past offseason.

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FOXBORO -- It's deadline day. The Patriots will have to make a decision with rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett by the end of business on Wednesday, and it sounds as though they'll decide to place the signal-caller on the active roster.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Brissett will be activated as the team's designated player to return off of injured reserve.

Asked about his plans for Brissett on Wednesday morning, Belichick smiled.

"Been reminded of that every couple days . . . I appreciate that," he said. "Was thinking that was going to slip by. We will make that decision. We will make that decision. We'll make it. By the time we have to make it, we'll absolutely make it."

Brissett played in three games during Tom Brady's four-game suspension to start the year. He filled in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo during the Patriots' Week 2 win over the Dolphins. Brissett also beat the Texans in Week 3 and took the team's first defeat, a loss at home...

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NFL Owners approved a change to the league’s overtime policy, voting to reduce it from 15 minutes to 10 minutes at the NFL Spring Meetings in Chicago.

The change, which was originally proposed by the NFL Competition Committee at the NFL Owners Meetings in March, was done because of player safety.

The owners also voted to eliminate the first mandatory roster cut that went from 90 to 75 players. Instead there will be one mandatory roster cut, going from a 90-man roster to a 53-man roster.

Owners also passed the proposal to change the injured reserve rule. The new rule allows two players to be placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list. This would allow both players to return from injured reserve to practice after six weeks, and be activated after eight weeks. Last season the league adjusted the rule as well, not requiring the teams to identify the player designated to return in advance.

In addition, the NFL will be relaxing rules on...

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The NFL is currently discussing the idea of allowing two players on injured reserve to return, and shortening overtime to ten minutes. Are these the right moves?

These two topics will be discussed at the NFL owners meetings next week. According to Judy Battista of the NFL and NFL Network, both changes will likely be approved.

At league meeting next week, NFL owners will vote on proposal to allow a second player to come off IR in season. Likely to be approved.

— Judy Battista (@judybattista) May 17, 2017

NFL owners are also expected to approve the proposal that was previously tabled to reduce regular season OT from 15 to 10 minutes.

— Judy Battista (@judybattista) May 17, 2017

Should these changes be made?

Let’s start with the amendment to injured reserve. When it was originally implemented, the IR was used as a slot to remove a player from the active roster, to open a spot, without releasing them. The tradeoff...

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The Cleveland Browns designated quarterback Robert Griffin III to return from injured reserve on Wednesday and he then practiced for the first time since breaking the coracoid bone in his left shoulder during the season opener.

Griffin was placed on injured reserve with the shoulder issue on Sept. 12, a day after a season-opening 29-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. RG3 completed 12 of 26 passes for 190 yards with one interception and also rushed for 37 yards in the game.

Griffin was the second quarterback throwing in drills open to the media on Wednesday, according to ESPN. Josh McCown took the first reps, with Griffin up second.

The winless Browns (0-11) have 21 days to decide if Griffin will return to the active roster or remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

Griffin will not play in Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

"Right now it might be a little bit early," Browns coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday of Griffin...

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The New England Patriots have placed rookie QB Jacoby Brissett on the injured reserve today, but that doesn’t mean his season is over.

The NFL changed the rules of the injured reserve this offseason so teams no longer have to designate the player to return upon placing them on the injured reserve. Instead, teams are eligible to activate any one from the injured reserve after they have spent at least six weeks on the list. They will then have two weeks before they can play.

So the Patriots could theoretically activate Brissett from the injured reserve after the week 10 game against the Seahawks and Brissett could take the field in week 13 against the Rams.

The Patriots will move forward with Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo as the two quarterbacks on the active roster, while Brissett will get to function as a break-in-case-of-emergency quarterback if Brady or Garoppolo suffers an injury down the final stretch.

There is still a chance that a different player...

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After five games, it looked as though the Vikings could take it slow with Peterson’s recovery from surgery on his right knee. Three weeks later and that doesn’t look possible. The Vikings are desperate for Peterson’s help on the field as they’re 31st in rushing, ahead of only the Giants. Fortunately, there’s a good chance he’ll return before the season ends.

While it’s not likely he’ll be back before Thanksgiving, he could return in December — just in time for the Vikings’ final four games. With the Packers faltering and the Lions surging, the Vikings really could use Peterson against the Colts, Packers and Bears to close out the year. There’s no guarantee he’ll return, but this is Adrian Peterson. He’ll do everything in his power to get out there. And when he does, the Vikings will become much better.

Bruce Kluckhohn USA TODAY...

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(Before It's News)

Key Dates, Deadlines and Salary Cap Ramifications in 2017

As Training Camp approaches, several key NFL calendar dates become important and have great significance for purposes of building the team’s roster and its Salary Cap.


Several key factors are already in effect and have already come into play:

• Rule of 51 – At this time of the offseason, a team’s Salary Cap is determined by the “Rule of 51”. The Rule of 51 is in effect because team rosters now total 90 players (or more if some players are already on Injured Reserve) and it would be impossible to fit all 90+ players under the Cap. As such, the league’s CBA dictates that only the highest 51 Salary Cap numbers (and all bonus prorations for players outside of the top 51 and all dead money from players released) counts against the Cap at this time. This is the Rule of 51. The RSR’s Salary Cap table illustrates how the Rule of 51 operates.

• Waivers – As...

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Tyvon Branch was back at practice on Wednesday, as the Cardinals have designated him their player to return from injured reserve.

The veteran safety was placed on IR after he suffered a groin injury against the Rams on Oct. 4. The soonest he can play is Dec. 4 against Washington. Each team is allowed to activate one player off injured reserve, so the season is over for running back Chris Johnson and linebacker Alani Fua, the other two candidates mentioned as possibilities to return.

Coach Bruce Arians said it was a hard decision to make.

“I put it off as long as I could to make sure we could do the right thing for the team,” he said.

Branch has 22 tackles and a pair of passes defensed in four games this season. He played as the nickel cornerback early as safety Tyrann Mathieu made his way back from a torn ACL, but Mathieu assumed that position after Branch’s injury and will stay there when he returns from a shoulder injury.

It remains to be seen...

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The injured reserve list ( IR list) is an official designation used by the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) for athletes who become injured and temporarily unable to play. It is analogous to the injured list in the Canadian Football League (CFL), the inactive list in the National Basketball Association (NBA), or the disabled list in Major League Baseball (MLB).

It is used because the rules of these leagues allow for only a certain numbers of players on each team's roster. Designating a player as "Injured/Reserve" frees up a spot, enabling the team to add a new player during the injured athlete's convalescence. In the NFL, when a player is placed on the list he cannot return to play for the remainder of the regular season; the other leagues allow the player to return to play during the season. The NBA's inactive list is the most liberal as it does not generally require a player to be injured.

NHL rules

A player may be placed on...

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The Ravens made it official Saturday, activating cornerback Asa Jackson from injured reserve-designated to return and placing cornerback Tramain Jacobs on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Jackson is slated to play extensively Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, according to sources.

Jackson's addition to the active roster is expected to impact the playing time of cornerback Anthony Levine, a converted safety who has been starting, as well as nickel back Danny Gorrer.

The Ravens regard Jackson as a talented, emerging young player and are eager to get him on the field to provide a boost to their 31st-ranked pass defense.

Jackson had 19 tackles and a pass defended in five games played and four starts before suffering a severe sprained toe against the Indianapolis Colts during an October loss at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"I think Asa is a quick little player," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Thursday. "I think he’s playing good. I think he was...

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FILE – This Aug. 9, 2014 file photo shows an NFL logo on a goal post padding before a preseason NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch and Visa added to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League recent actions but are stopping short of pulling advertising, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File) " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="">AP

A rule change passed Wednesday morning basically eliminates the injured reserve – desginated for return list but does not eliminate the rule allowing one player per team, per season to return to action from...

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The Seahawks made several roster moves Tuesday, activating linebacker Brock Coyle off of the injured reserve/designated to return list and re-signing tight end Chase Coffman, and waiving receiver B.J. Daniels, safety Akeem Davis and running back DuJuan Harris.

Coyle, who made the team as an undrafted rookie last season and established himself as a key special teams player, had already returned to practice, as is allowed by the IR/designated to return rules, but this is the first week he can return to the 53-man roster, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that Monday that move was coming this week.

“Yes, he’s coming up,” Carroll said. “We’re really fired up to get him up. He’s been full speed for a couple weeks. He waited through the process, so we’re really happy to add him back into all of the special teams. He’s a core special teamer for us, and he’s really primed and ready to go. So he’ll give us a little boost where we’d like to see it, and he’ll be ready to...

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Custom league managers may choose to enable a Reserve slot to allow an injured or suspended NFL player to be placed on a non-active fantasy roster slot. If a player meets a number of NFL-specific roster designations and you believe upon return to an active NFL roster that he will be an impact player for your team, you can place the player on this Reserve (RES) slot.

Players are eligible for the Reserved slot if they are officially labeled by their NFL team as:

IR: Injured Reserve NON: Non Football Related Injured Reserve SUS: Suspended PUP: Physically Unable to Perform EXE: Exempt

Once a player is moved to the RES roster position, you will have an open spot on your roster and can add a player to your active roster without the need to drop someone. Note that when the time comes to activate your reserved player, you will need to make a corresponding transaction to ensure your roster meets league-specified roster limits.

Once a player becomes active, you can keep...

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