Clarifying The Injured Reserve, Designated For Return Rules

I think several people are still confused about the injured reserve/designated rule as a few of you have emailed to ask if Pittsburgh Steelers rookies Jordan Zumwalt or Shaquille Richardson will be placed on it.

First, teams are only allowed to designate one player a season to return after being placed on injured reserve, so using that designation on a rookie that’s unlikely to play a snap all season on defense would be pretty foolish.

Second, in order for a player to qualify to be placed on the short-term injured reserve list at the start of a season, that player must be on the team’s 53 man roster come the first Tuesday after the final cut-down date. This year that date is September 2.

Third, the injury that results in a player being placed on the designated to return injured reserve list has to be a “major injury”. That means the injury will prevent the player from practicing or playing for at least six weeks from the date of the injury.

I think you will see that the clarified rules above make it easy to see that neither Zumwalt nor Richardson will be tabbed as a designated to return player. The same goes for rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who suffered an AC shoulder sprain Thursday night.

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