The NFL May Make A Smart Change To Its IR Rules image

Deadspin, May 17, 2017
Dom Cosentino, citing Petrie-Flom's report

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What the NFL could use is a short-term disabled list not unlike what exists in Major League Baseball. Right now, the NFL’s active and inactive lists function sort of like a DL, but with tighter roster restrictions. All teams have a 53-man roster limit during the regular season, but they are only permitted to have 46 players active on game days, with seven players declared inactive 90 minutes before kickoff.

A new report from Harvard University comparing the health policies of professional sports leagues suggests that the NFL adopt a seven-day DL for players diagnosed with concussions—a policy that’s already in place in MLB. The study says 80 to 90 percent of concussion symptoms are resolved within seven to 10 days. A DL would also allow teams to replace an injured player’s roster spot in the short-term, though the practice-squad rules currently require players to be exposed to waivers before being moved from the 53-man roster to the practice squad. The Harvard report also recognizes that because players who experience any injury may feel or face pressure to return before they’re fully recovered, it “may also be reasonable” to allow for the seven-day DL to be extended to all injuries.

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