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How the New Trade Deadline and IR Rule Affects the San Diego Chargers

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It turns out that the NFL Players Association doesn't hate the Chargers after all. This morning comes the news that the NFL and NFLPA have come to an agreement on the new trade deadline (Week 8, instead of Week 6) and the new IR rule.

The new, now-in-place, rule about Injured-Reserve is pretty cut and dry. Teams are now allowed to bring back one player from Injured-Reserve each season. I also read something else when it was being discussed about the player being allowed to practice for a few weeks before taking an active roster spot, which is par for the course.

How does this rule adjustment affect the San Diego Chargers? Well, it allows the team to put WR Vincent Brown on IR to start the season instead of taking up a roster spot without being able to contribute for the first 6 weeks or so. Now, the Chargers coaching staff can keep 5 WRs, put Vincent Brown on IR, and use the spot that might've been used on a 6th WR for some other position.

This is a big, big win for both the team and Brown. Brown no longer has to worry about possibly missing an entire year because the team has too many needs elsewhere on the roster, and the team no longer has to worry about weakening another part of the team on the hope that Brown can return.

Imagine, if Ryan Mathews is back before Week 3 (and it's looking like he will be), and Vincent Brown comes back healthy half-way through the season without having to take up a roster spot in the meantime, those two very major preseason injuries will have a relatively minor affect on the season.

Editor's Note: Further investigation shows that only players put on IR on or after September 4th are eligible to come off. This means, with roster cuts tomorrow, that the team will still need to keep a roster spot open for Brown (for a few days) if they want to give him a chance to return later in the season.