The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to 2 rule changes.
The trading deadline has been moved from the Tuesday following week 6 to the Tuesday following week 8. In-season trades are so infrequent in the NFL, that I don’t expect this to have a huge change on the way the league operates. The only real plus here is that teams that suffer major injuries will have a larger window to try and trade for a replacement.
The more significant change is the new Injured Reserve rule. Teams can now activate one player off of IR each season. In the past, players who incurred significant but possibly not season-ending injuries early in the season created a dilemma for their team. The team had to choose between keeping the injured player on the roster so they could possible play later in the year, or placing them on IR to free up the roster spot for someone who could contribute now. For one player per year, teams no longer have to make that choice.
There are limitations. The player must have been on the 53 man roster, meaning players who are injured during training camp and placed onto IR when rosters are cut down aren’t eligible to come off IR until the following season. The player must also have been on IR for at least 6 weeks, so this rule can’t be exploited for minor injuries.
Because there are team who have already placed players on to IR for this year, the league is giving them a chance to pull one play off of IR today. This will allow them to put them back onto IR after the final cuts are made, making that player eligible to come back off IR again later in the year. The most significant player that this might apply to is Arizona LT Levi Brown, who could possible be ready to play for the final 4 games of the year under the new rule.