This is the part of the year where all of the cuts, lists, designations, and rules can get confusing, even for the most seasoned of NFL fans. Luckily, I’m here to try and help you out.
The schedule for everything between Now and the first real game:
Friday August 23rd: Preseason Game #3 @ Green Bay
Tuesday August 27th, 1:pm: Team must reduce the number of players on their roster to 75
Thursday August 29th: Final preseason game vs. the Raiders.
Saturday August 31st, 3:pm: Team must reduce the number of players on the active roster to 53. Teams can also place players on the PUP list and Injured Reserve to help them get down to this number.
Sunday September 1st, 9:am: Waiver period for players cut the day before ends, and players are awarded to claiming teams. At this time, all players who were not claimed are eligible to be signed to the practice squad.
Tuesday September 3rd, 1:pm: At any time after this point, teams can place players on Injured Reserve with the designation that they can return.
Thursday September 5th, 12:am: The “top 51″ salary camp rule expires.
(All times are local Seattle time)
Lists and Designations:
PUP is “Physically Unable to Perform.” Players must have been injured prior to the start of training camp, and cannot have practiced at any point in training camp, to be placed on this list. Players on the PUP must miss at least 8 games but then can be activated to the roster at any point up until week 15.
Injured Reserve, or IR, is a list that removes a player from the roster, but ends that player’s season. They cannot play again until the 2014 season.
Injured Reserve with Designation To Return was a new creation a year ago. Team’s can now place 1 player on IR with that designation, and then pull them back off IR to the active roster. The player must be on IR for at least 8 weeks. I should note that a player must be placed on the 53 man roster until after the waiver period following cuts. This makes it very difficult to use this for players injured during training camp.