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Friday, August 10, 2012
NFL waiting on approval for changes

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

The NFL notified teams Thursday that it has not yet received approval from the Players Association for rule changes involving the injured reserve list and the trade deadline, according to a source.

The changes were made to let teams know that they might not be able to designate one player per team to a special injury list that would allow the player to return to the roster in eight weeks and to the practice field in six weeks. The rule change, which was voted in by owners in May, would provide an extra roster spot to temporarily replace a player who suffers a major injury but would be able to return for the second half of the season.

Under the current rules, if a player suffers a major injury before the regular-season opener and the team doesn't have the roster space to carry him until he's healthy, the player is put on IR and is lost for the season.

The other rule change in flux has to do with the trade deadline. Owners approved a two-week extension of the trade deadline in May. Instead of the deadline ending after the sixth week of the regular season, the new rule would extend the deadline to the Tuesday of Week 8 at 4 p.m. ET.

Both rule changes were made to provide teams with more roster flexibility. The change to injured reserve effectively adds jobs for players.

Any changes on rosters and jobs must be collectively bargained. Although there is no anticipated negotiation needed for these two rules, the union must approve them before they are implemented.