As new NFL IR rules ratified, here's how they will benefit the LA Rams in 2024

The LA Rams face uncertainty over the status of starting TE Tyler Higbee. But help is on the way, form the most unlikely of sources . . .
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions, Tyler Higbee
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions, Tyler Higbee / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

While NFL fans across the nation fixate on the NFL's new kickoff rules for 2024, there are other rules changes in store for fans. One such rules change is of particular interest for the LA Rams fans. So much so that it behooves me to call out the rule and discuss its value to the team this season. Just to put everyone on the same page, I am discussing the rules change to the use of the Injured Reserve list.

The changes in store for the 2024 NFL season are of particular interest to the Rams, because the change will have an immediate benefit for the team. In short, the rule had necessitated an NFL team to form an active 53-man roster with any injured players included on that initial. Then after the 53-man roster was officially recorded, the team could designate injured players to the IR list, and refill the roster vacancies with players who the team hoped had cleared NFL waivers.

That inefficient process was senseless, as it forced teams to risk losing key role players to another team in the effort to preserve the right to reinstate injured players to the active roster after designating them to the IR list.

The specific rules change was communicated via NFL Communications as the newly ratified Approved 2024 Playing Rules, Bylaws, and Resolutions, and reads as follows

"By Competition Committee; amends Article XVII, Section 17.16(C), to permit each club to place a maximum of two players who are placed on an applicable Reserve List on the business day of the final roster reduction to be designated for return. Such players will immediately count as two of the club’s total designations."

2024 NFL Rules change

Permitting NFL teams to pre-designate up to two injured players on Injured Reserve and allow the team to carry a full 53-player roster into the 2024 NFL season is a bonus to all NFL teams. But in a year in which the Rams knowingly face uncertainty over the status of starting TE Tyler Higbee, the option to designate him to IR and not be forced to release an additional player to clear roster limits is a very well-timed modification.

The rules do not fix the error of forcing teams to maintain injured players on the active roster to preserve the right to reinstate them to the active roster mid season, but permitting up to two players to be transferred to IR without limiting their opportunities to return to the team is a huge step in the right direction.

Hopefully, the NFL will continue advancing in that direction going forward.

Thanks for reading.