The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and NFL Owners on Thursday reached an agreement that will allow one designated player to return from the injured return list after the season reaches the halfway point.
Along with that new rule the NFLPA also agreed to move the league’s trading deadline back two weeks to just after Week 8 games draw to a close.
NFL owners were already on board for both changes, having voted for the new rules in May. With the NFLPA agreeing to the new terms they will go into effect just six days before the 2012-2013 season begins.
Under the new rules NFL franchises can take one “marquee” player off the injured reserved list following the sixth week of the regular season schedule. After two weeks of team practices the injured player can then return following week 8 play.
The new IR rule requires that the injured player be placed on the teams 53-man roster before the final preseason cut time frame which ends on Friday.
The new rule is already being considered by several teams including the New York Giants who could benefit from the eventual return of cornerback Terrell Thomas who missed the 2011 season with a right knee injury.
Also up for injured reserve reinstatement could be Terrell Suggs, last season’s Defensive Player of the Year who was placed by Baltimore on the “physically unable to perform list.”
Whether or not the new trade deadline will affect activity during the trade period is not yet known, in the past players rarely moved players when the deadline arrived.