COMMENTARY | After breaking his ankle in the preseason, San Diego Chargers 2011 third-round pick Vincent Brown will be able to go on injured reserve in 2012 due to a rule change that was passed on Thursday, August 30, 2012, and still help his team during the regular season.
In years' past, the injured reserve effectively meant the end of a player's season. But with the new rule, Brown will be able to return to the roster when he's healthy. That could come at an opportune time for the Chargers, who will need all of their weapons on offense after losing some key players during the offseason in Vincent Jackson and Mike Tolbert.
This news could be a saving grace for the Chargers, who can fill a crucial roster spot while Brown recovers. The former San Diego State Aztec was on his way to a breakout season after showing real signs of promise in 2011.
He finished his rookie campaign with just 19 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns, but had a breakout game on November 10, 2011, where he totaled five catches for 79 yards and his first career touchdown.
In games he started, he had 13 catches for 294 yards and a touchdown. When considering he had very little time to grasp the complexities of an NFL offense during the 2011 lockout, his accomplishments are all the more impressive.
He could be the perfect midseason lift to the team when he returns from the injury. Given their current injuries and lack of marquee players, his return will be welcome.
Brown will now be able to take his time coming back rather than feel obligated to return early if the Chargers make the move to place him on IR. Because the earliest a player can be placed on the list is September 4, he'll be a part of the final 53-man roster on Friday.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the San Diego Chargers and the NFL. He has written for Southern California's Press-Enterprise and is the Editor of SportsOutWest.com.
For more insight, you can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets.
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