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NFL tweaks IR, practice squad rules for 2022

Just a few minor changes

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC at AFC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The National Football League has made a few changes to the rules that govern both the injured reserve list and team practice squads for the 2022 season.

We’ll start with the changes to IR. Over the past couple of years, a team could deem a player eligible to return from IR after they had missed three games, but this season that number is increasing to four. In addition, teams will be limited in the number of players that they can bring back from IR during the season. Over the past two seasons, teams had been allowed to have an unlimited number of players return from IR, but now that number will be limited to eight throughout the course of the season.

Finally, a team can now designate the same player to return from IR twice in the same season, though both of that player’s returns would count against their total of eight for the season. Prior to now, if a team had to place a player on IR and they got injured to the point that they went on IR again, their season was over with.

As far as the practice squad is concerned, the big one is that an individual player can now be elevated to the main roster three times before the team has to add them to the 53-man roster. Previously a player was allowed two elevations if they were not designated as a COVID replacement. I assume the rules for COVID replacements remain the same, as the linked article from CBS Sports does not mention that anywhere.

Teams will still be able to have six veteran players with an unlimited number of accrued seasons on the practice squad, and the practice squad will remain at 16 players after having been expanded from 10 at the start of the pandemic.

While we don’t really concern ourselves with things like this, it is something that the folks that manage the roster for our Minnesota Vikings (and the rest of the teams in the NFL, I suppose) will need to be cognizant of throughout the course of the season as players get injured and things change.