Why is it that the most violent sport played has the strictest injured reserve policy? If you are injured in the NFL, your team has two options; keep you on the roster so you can rehab in hopes you can return to help the team at some point during the season or be moved to the injured reserve list and forfeit any chance of playing again that year.
In Major League Baseball, the least physical of the four major sports, there is a Disabled List that gives teams the option of placing a player on the 15 day DL or the 60 day DL. If a player goes on the DL, the team can activate another player to take his roster spot.
The National Hockey League has a 7 day minimum stay on their Injured Reserve list. And much like in MLB, the team can bring someone up to take the place of the injured player.
The National Basketball Association had a history of teams stashing players on the injured list, so they went to a system that allowed you to roster 15 players with 12 being active on game day. They’ll allow a 4th spot injured player in some instances.
Maybe the reason the NFL policy is so strict becausethere is no minor league type system in place to call guys up from? The NFL has a 53 man roster, in which you can only have 46 active on game day. They also have an 8 man Practice Squad with players that only practice with the team. I just don’t see any logical reason to have an iron-clad IR in the NFL. Give the teams some leeway with an 8 week IR, or maybe even a 4 week IR.
If a player suffers an injury with a 12-14 week rehab time, why make them decide if they should keep him around with hopes of him being ready come playoff time? Allow then to put them on the shorter IR then reevaluate the player when need be. Taking away the season in most instances seems drastic to me. Don’t you agree?