As we reported earlier, the Minnesota Vikings have placed safety Jamarca Sanford on what is called "short-term injured reserve." I thought this was the same thing as being given the designation to return, but it is not.
Thanks to our friends over at Bleeding Green Nation, this is a basic explanation of what "short-term IR" is, as they just went through it with wide receiver Arrelious Benn.
Short Term IR is NOT THE SAME THING as IR-Designated to Return. Short Term IR means the player will be cut when healthy and can't re-sign.— Sam Lynch (@shlynch) August 29, 2014
So, Jamarca Sanford has not been given the designation to return. His career in Minnesota is done. Eventually, he will be released and will not have the ability to re-sign with the Vikings.
Here's another example of the San Diego Chargers going through the same deal with kicker Nate Kaeding. It appears that the proper terminology is "minor injury designation," but short-term IR is basically the same deal.