PALM BEACH -- A proposal allowing teams to designate a player for return from injured reserve after spending eight weeks out has support from the Patriots.
Owner Robert Kraft, speaking Tuesday at the NFL Owner's Meetings, volunteered that Tom Brady wanted to come off IR at the end of the 2008 season to play down the stretch.
The possibility of a vital player doing that, said Kraft, is good for the league.
"It allows us to keep the game more exciting for those teams that are trying to play to make it to the playoffs, it's a great opportunity to try and do that," said Kraft. "I think it's a very positive move."
The current IR rules have been in place since 1993.
Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL's Competition Committee, explained the tweaks on a conference call last week.
''I'm going to call it an injured reserve exception for major injury to a designated player,'' McKay said. ''Traditionally, in our system, injured reserve players have been out for the year. In this case, if that player was on the roster all the way through the first regular-season weekend, then you could put that player on injured reserve, designate that player for return and the player could begin to practice six weeks after he has gone on that list. And play in games eight weeks after he has gone on that list. ''