After it looked like the proposals were going nowhere, the NFL and NFLPA announced that they had agreed on changes to the injured reserve rule and moved the trade deadline back two weeks on Thursday.
The injured reserve rule seems like a winner for both sides. The teams win because they can wait on a player who gets hurt during training camp and the players get an extra job on an active roster along with the chance to return to play in a year when they might have otherwise missed the duration.
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck isn’t so sure it’s entirely positive, however.
“That’s a good thing and a bad thing because a lot of teams are going to use that to their advantage,” Tuck said, via Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger. “But for the people who do that the right way, that can really help a guy because there are parts of the season when guys just can’t get out there and go. You get a couple of weeks off, they get healthy and they can go out there and go. I see the good in it and I also see the bad in it.”
With the rule limited to one player who must miss at least eight weeks (and can’t practice for six weeks), it’s hard to see how teams are really going to be able to game this to their great advantage over the rest of the teams. Perhaps the “major injury” part of the rule could be interpreted creatively, but it is still one player who must miss a significant portion of time. Garafolo writes that Tuck said it was generally a good thing while still feeling teams could manipulate it to their advantage when he was informed about the eight-week provision, something that seems particularly true for the Giants this year.
Cornerback Terrell Thomas and defensive tackles Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers are all dealing with injuries suffered during camp, making them ineligible for the PUP list, that will likely limit them now, but could wind up improving enough to allow them to play later in the season. The Giants can’t get all of them back, but if they feel that there’s a good chance with one of them it would give the team a boost in the second half of the season.