NEW YORK (AP) — The players' union has approved a rule change on the eve of the season that will allow one designated player from each team to return from injured reserve instead of sitting out the entire year.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the change announced Thursday is the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. They have three players whose status is uncertain because of injuries suffered in training camp, with the most obvious being cornerback Terrell Thomas. He aggravated his surgically repaired tight anterior cruciate ligament in late July and has yet to practice.
Under the new rule, one "marquee" player" placed on injured reserve will be able to return to practice after the sixth week of the schedule and to the lineup after the eighth week. That player must be on the 53-man roster after the final preseason cut, which comes Friday. The player's injury must be one that prevents him from practicing or playing football for six weeks.