NFL Owners Vote To Push Back Trade Deadline, Add IR Exemption

At Tuesday's NFL owners meetings in Atlanta, changes to the trade deadline and injured reserve were approved. The proposed rule changes were tabled back in March, but the owners voted to approve them on Tuesday. Now, as long as the NFLPA signs off on them, the changes will be implemented in time for next season.

The change to the trade deadline revolves around when it occurs during the season. In the past, the trade deadline had been in Week 6 of the season. Under the proposed change, the trade deadline will be in Week 8. The two-week delay could result in more movement, as teams should have a better idea of if they will be contending for a playoff spot by that point in the season. This was a change the Detroit Lions were in favor of.

The other big change deals with the injured-reserve list. Previously, a player's season was over if he was placed on injured reserve. Now, under the proposal that passed, an exemption will come into play allowing for one player from each team to be designated to return later in the season even if he goes on IR. Here are the details:

The change to the injured reserve rule would allow each team to put one player on injured reserve for only part of the season, rather than making every player’s season come to an end if he’s placed on injured reserve. Under the revised rule, a player who is on the roster for Week One and then gets hurt during the season can be placed on injured reserve and designated for return, and then can return to practice six weeks later and play in a game eight weeks later.

NFL owners also approved a change that would make knee and thigh pads mandatory starting in 2013, but it sounds like the NFLPA will fight this particular alteration to the rules.

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