The NFL Players Association and the NFL Management Council agreed on the implementation of two new rules for the 2012 season, one which could greatly benefit the San Diego Chargers and wide receiver Vincent Brown.
The first rule change was pushing the trading deadline back to the Tuesday after the eighth weekend of the season, but the bigger news was a proposal which permits clubs to re-activate one player from the Reserve/Injured list during the 2012 season.
The way the rule works is that a player designated with a “major injury” placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00pm Eastern on Tuesday, September 4th, or any time thereafter, is eligible to be reactivated at a later time that season. A “major injury” is defined as any injury rendering a player unable to practice or play football for at least six weeks from the date of the injury.
This new rule could very well apply to Brown, who broke his ankle on August 18th and will be out at least eight weeks. Under the old rules, the Chargers needed to decide whether to keep him on the active 53-man roster all season long until he was ready to return, or place him on the Reserve/Injured list, ending his season before the year began. Now, after initially naming him to the 53-man roster, the Bolts can place him on the Reserve/Injured list on September 4th, designating the second-year receiver as their one player eligible to be activated off the list and have him back at some point during the back end of the season.
While there is no guarantee the Chargers will place Brown, or any other player for that matter, on IR and use this new rule, they now have the option of doing so, giving the team flexibility as they shape their roster for the upcoming season.
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