Inside The Bills

Roster numbers, rules changes

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2014 – 12:15 pm

The NFL’s Competition Committee will be convening at the annual league meetings next week and while there are some rules proposals that are unlikely to pass, there are some interesting suggestions concerning game day roster size and roster numbers that just make sense.

One of the more interesting proposals dealt with the number of active players on game day. There’s a proposal to raise the number from 46 to 49 when teams play on Thursday or Saturday, excluding Week 1.

I would be in favor of this idea. Knowing players that have to play four days after a Sunday game on a Thursday night are barely getting over their soreness, being able to dress three extra players could be helpful. The team coming off extra rest might put up a stink about a disadvantage, but the team coming off three days rest before playing again is the team with the uphill battle. I don’t know about dressing an extra three for a Saturday game, but for a Thursday night game I think the idea has some merit.

The other roster proposals calls for raising the practice squad limit from 8 to 10, and allowing more than one player per team to return from injured reserve to the active roster. Basically instead of having the opportunity to name just one player designated to return from I-R, the second proposal would allow any player to return from I-R after a month and a half.

Knowing how strapped rosters are for healthy bodies the return from I-R proposal might get some traction. Then again the potential for teams to circumvent roster number restrictions by sticking a player on I-R for six weeks to hold onto him even though he might have a minor injury to create roster space for a healthier player might keep this idea from becoming a reality.

The practice squad increase is something that coaches would like, but owners may not knowing it increases overhead albeit incrementally knowing the millions that are doled out in the NFL.

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