Signs Point To NFL Keeping Unlimited IR Designations To Return & 16-Man Practice Squads

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that while there’s nothing official right now, all signs point to the NFL and NFLPA keeping last year’s COVID-related roster rules in place for the 2021 season.

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This includes the no limit on players returning from injured reserve and 16-man practice squads.

According to Pelissero, these changes were popular among both teams and players. Pelissero explains that both sides liked the modified injured reserve rules since they allowed players to return in three weeks instead of eight and removed the cap on the number of players designated for return.

Beyond that, NFL teams had more flexibility and players in most cases had additional time to recover from injury.

The two parties still have work to do on a number of topics, according to Pelissero, so there may not be any official agreements until closer to the start of training camp next month.

One other benefit of the 16-man practice squads from last year was that it allowed players who were out of service time to be signed to the practice squad. In years past, some players would get pushed out of the league after losing practice squad eligibility so this could extend some careers to a certain extent. 

We’ll have more regarding roster rules for 2021 as the news is available.

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