The San Diego Chargers became the first NFL team to use the new injured reserve rules. These rules allow teams to take a player off of the injured reserve list.
The Chargers placed the ‘designated to return’ tag on second year receiver Vincent Brown. Brown broke his ankle on August 18 in a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Brown’s recovery time was expected to be eight weeks. That means the Chargers would have had to have Brown count against their 53-man roster that long or end his season. With this new rule, they have a third option.
A team can only use this rule on a player who has had a major injury. The NFL defines this as an injury that takes six or more weeks to recover.
The Bills also used this rule on defensive back Ron Brooks.