How new IR, practice squad rules will affect the Dolphins

·2 min read

On Wednesday, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to changes to two key parts of roster construction – the practice squad and injured reserve.

Teams are allowed to roster 16 players on the practice squad, which is up from 14. They’re also permitted to keep up to six veterans on the practice squad.

On top of that, practice squad players are now allowed to be elevated three times to the active roster as opposed to the two times it could be done last season.

Last season, Sheldrick Redwine, Jamal Perry, Cameron Tom and Isaiah Ford all reached the two-game elevation limit, so in order for them to come up again, they would’ve had to have been signed to the active roster. Now, they get an extra opportunity before that’s the case.

When it comes to injured reserve, the NFL had allowed an unlimited number of players to return after three weeks, but that has changed now as well. Only eight players are allowed to be placed on injured reserve in-season with a chance to return. If they want to return, they’ll have to wait four weeks instead of three.

In 2021, the Dolphins put 13 players on injured reserve in-season. Six returned to action.

This change may force teams to keep players with less serious injuries on the roster but still inactive if they can’t go, instead of putting them on injured reserve, allowing the player to get the rest and using their roster spot for another player that could impact a game or get valuable experience.

It seems like this rule is moving closer back to pre-COVID NFL days when teams could only return two players from injured reserve, and they’d have to wait eight weeks to return. That would be a mistake.

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