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NFL will retain modified IR rules, allowing unlimited players to return

With back-to-back Hall of Fame Ceremony nights, Mike Florio unpacks the shortening of speeches and how inductees approached it.

The NFL made official what had been anticipated: It will retain the modified injured reserve rules from last season, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.

The league made changes to the rule last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the move proved popular with teams, coaches, players and fans. Thus, it is back in 2021.

An unlimited number of players can return from a team’s injured reserve list, and they are eligible after missing a minimum of only three games.

After three weeks, the player becomes eligible to return to practice. Once he returns to practice, the team has 21 days to place him back on the active roster.

Previously, a team had only two IR-return designations it could use in a season and a player was required to miss a minimum of eight weeks.

Only players on the 53-player roster after Sept. 1 are eligible to be designated for return from IR or the non-football injury list.