NFL owners likely to approve second IR-return player

NFL owners are set to pass a regulation to give teams more flexibility to teams dealing with injuries.

NFL Network's Judy Battista reported Wednesday that at next week's Spring League Meeting, owners plan to vote on a proposal allowing a second player to come off injured reserve in a season. The proposal is likely to pass, per Battista.

The NFL began allowing teams to bring back one player from IR in 2012. Those players must sit out at least eight weeks. The first few seasons those players needed to be "designated for return" when placed on IR. In 2016, owners adjusted the rule, allowing teams to designate a returning player at the time they bring them back to the roster.

Adding an additional return designation should have plenty of support. Adding another returning player benefits team flexibility and pushes off difficult decisions on potentially shutting down injured players. It also provides hope to players injured in the offseason or early in the year that they will still have a chance to come back.

While the new return rule should get support from outside owner's room, the league will also vote to reduce regular-season overtime from 15 to 10 minutes, which has garnered much more criticism.

Per Battista, owners are expected to approve the proposal that was previously tabled to condense overtime.

Slashing five minutes from the extra period comes with player safety in mind. When the idea was proposed in March, Battista reported the competition committee believed there was a "real disadvantage" for a team playing an entire 15-minute overtime period before having to turn around and play a Thursday night game the following week.

The concern for critics of the proposal is that it will lead to more ties. Per NFL Research, there have been 83 regular season overtime games in the last five season (since the league went away from sudden death), with 22 of them (26.5 percent) lasting 10-plus minutes.

The concerns led to the proposal being tabled. It appears that perhaps some of those anxieties have been calmed over the past several weeks.

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