The NFL owners met today in Atlanta to modify a few rules.
Under the current rule, if a player was placed on injured reserve, his season was over. Now, a player can rejoin his team after spending eight weeks on injured reserve. However, that player has to be on the 53-man roster after the last preseason roster cuts. After six weeks, the player can return to practice with the team, and after eight weeks the player is eligible to play in games. Only one player per team is able to take advantage of this rule change, and he is dubbed the “marquee player.”
Also, the NFL owners voted to move the trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8.
Both rule modifications are great for the league. It is better to allow a player to come back from injured reserve rather than ending his season. It also prevents teams from being completely handicapped after an important player goes down to injury. Moving the trade deadline back a couple of weeks gives teams more flexibility.
The last rule change is likely to draw the ire of many players in the league: beginning in 2013, players are required to wear thigh and knee pads. With the focus on player safety, this rule makes sense. However, there will undoubtedly be fierce opposition to this rule change.