New Rules That Could Benefit/Hurt Pittsburgh Steelers

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Aug 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive guard David DeCastro (66) is down injured during the first quarter in the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. DeCastro was taken off the field on a cart. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple IR Returnees

Stated Change: Permit more than one player to return to the active list from injured reserve so that any player on injured reserve could return after six weeks.

This is actually a bylaw change within the NFL rather than an in-game rule change.  This is a pretty significant change, and would certainly benefit the Steelers.  The NFL recently allowed teams to have one player come back from IR.  This would allow multiples throughout the year after a six year shelving.  The rule would really free up teams from having to perform some sort of voodoo magic to their roster.  Impactful players would not be missed for an entire season over an injury that could be recovered from in four to five weeks, and not hurt the overall roster by having to stay on the active list (but on the sidelines the entire time).  Where it could factor in as a negative would be if players begin to push coming back too early from an injury.  How many players out there have actually benefitted from being placed on IR for an injury that took them out for half the season and couldn’t return because someone else already came back from the IR?  A body takes time to heal, and we’ve seen our fair share of players who take a beating and break down quickly who keep returning a little too soon from previous bangs and bruises.  Granted – if someone is placed on IR they are facing a serious injury requiring surgery (usually) and a long recovery.  However, I can just see someone with a fractured foot be placed on IR and come back after six or seven weeks of recovery when their body would have actually benefitted most from having the rest of the season off.

You can see all the proposed rule changes here.  The owners will vote during next week’s league meetings on all these rules.  Stay tuned to see which ones will be making us cheer and others that will be making us groan.