As was mentioned in the comments section of the post we made about it last night, the National Football League did adopt the rule that states that all players will be mandated to wear a full set of pads, to include knee and thigh pads, by 2013. This gives the manufacturer the 2012 season to work on things like comfort and safety before it becomes mandatory for everybody.
There were two other rule changes that were adopted by the NFL this morning as well. The first one was to move the NFL trading deadline from Week 6 to Week 8. I'm not really sure how much impact this is going to have, if any. . .the NFL trading deadline is already the most meaningless of the four major sports, and I'm not sure how much pushing it back two weeks will affect that.
The other one is significantly more important, in my opinion. The league adopted a rule that will allow one "marquee" player (the terminology used in the article) to come back from the Injured Reserve list after Week 6 and return to the lineup after Week 8. The example the article uses is that of Terrell Suggs, the Baltimore Ravens' linebacker that tore his Achilles tendon playing basketball a couple of weeks ago. Under the old rules, if the Ravens were to put Suggs on IR, he would be done for the 2012 season. Now, they could put him on IR and let him continue to rehab, and then bring him back after he misses the first six weeks of the season.
This sounds a lot like the rules for the Physically Unable to Perform list, like the Vikings did with the Sidney Rice situation back in 2010, but I'm sure there are probably a few differences between the two lists. Once I find out more, I'll pass it. But the important thing is that the injured reserve list no longer automatically means a lost season for the player in question.