Arizona Cardinals: A positive change to injured reserve
The Arizona Cardinals will now be able to take better advantage of a new rule concerning injured reserve
The Arizona Cardinals had a dilemma in 2016 when they had to decide whether to bring running back Chris Johnson or safety Tyvon Branch back off of injured reserve. Only one was allowed to return.
If the same situation were to occur in 2017, both would be able to return under a change the NFL implemented on Tuesday. Instead of one player being able to be designated for return, now two players can have the designation to return after taking a trip to injured reserve.
The move is a good one. The Cardinals truly could have brought both players back last season after suffering practically the same injury at the same time.
The Cardinals ended up bringing back Branch and spelled the end of Johnson’s time in Arizona. The Cardinals felt they needed Branch more at the time when he returned in December.
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Ultimately though the move did not pay off. Branch returned to injured reserve just one game after returning, suffering a recurrence of his injury.
Does it stop at just two players? Probably not. You could see more changes to this rule down the road. The NFL implemented the rule of being able to return one player off of injured reserve in 2012. It used to be no one could return.
The NFL injured reserve rule is a little ridiculous to begin with. Many players injured in training camp don’t need to sit an entire season but to make room on rosters, some are forced to go on the list and miss the entire season.
Tuesday was all about baby steps. First with the celebration changes, then the overtime changes, and now the update to this rule which had been in place for five years.