The NFL has announced two new rules that will go into effect immediately for the 2012 season.
First, the trade deadline has been pushed back from Oct. 16 to Oct. 30. If teams want to make trades, they must be completed by 4 p.m. on the Tuesday after Week 8.
The second rule applies to players placed on injured reserve. Before, once a player was placed on injured reserve, he was done for the season (unless he negotiated an injury settlement).
Under the new rule, one player per team may be activated from IR after a major injury -- "major" meaning he must miss six weeks of practice or more. That player may be added to the team's 53-man active roster eight weeks after going on IR.
The rule is significant today because, obviously, there have already been players placed on IR.
We'll let Mike Florio from PFT explain how it works:
Heres where it gets complicated. Because teams already have cut to 75, a special procedure applies for 2012. As to teams that already have placed players on IR, the player for whom the short-term IR procedure will be used must be placed back on the active roster by 9:00 p.m. ET, August 31. Hell then count as one of the final 53.Then, after 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 4, each team can place one player on the modified IR list.This means that teams hoping to use the new IR rule for a player already on injured reserve will have to displace another player for nearly four days, using a roster spot for the injured player and then creating a roster spot next Tuesday, when that player goes back to IR.The Patriots currently have seven players on IR -- Dane Fletcher, Josh Barrett, Ross Ventrone, Will Allen, Spencer Larsen, Jamey Richard and Brad Herman. If the Patriots think one of these players might be able to return later in the season, and they'd like to use the new IR designation on him, they'd have to make their move by tomorrow night. First, they would have to place that player back on the active roster (taking one of the 53 spots away from someone else). Then, on Tuesday, when the designation is officially placed on the injured player, a spot would open up again on the active roster.
Of course, there's some strategy involved here, too. The Patriots could wait until someone else gets injured during the season and use the new IR designation then. Remember, each team can only designate one player to the short-term IR per season.
As PFT points out, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said in the past that if a similar rule existed in 2008, the Patriots may have used the short-term IR designation on Tom Brady after Bernard Pollard ruined the Patriots' season that year.