The Steelers received some good news today, hours before their kickoff tonight in the final exhibition game against Carolina.
The NFL and NFL Players Association finally agreed to the new rule the owners passed in May that allows teams to designate one player to go on injured reserve and, after eight weeks, be brought back to the 53-man roster. All other players on injured reserve must miss the entire season.
Steelers president Art Rooney proposed the rule long ago but it's as if he had David DeCastro in mind. Now, the Steelers will not have to use one of their spots on the roster if they want to carry DeCastro in the hope the rookie guard will play sometime in the second half of the season. They still have to put him on the 53-man roster when they make their final cuts tomorrow, so they will still have to cut someone. But they can bring that someone back on Monday, when they could put DeCastro on injured reserved.
One thing about the new rule is that teams are not required to bring the player back after eight weeks. If, for example, DeCastro is not deemed ready after eight weeks, they can keep him on IR and pull him off when they want, say after 12 weeks.
The league and union also agreed to push back the trading deadline another two weeks, so that the deadline now will be after the eighth week of the season. And they did away with the three-day acclimation period in the preseason for players who sign their contracts -- like Mike Wallace -- or come off the physically unable to perform list. That rule does not take place in the regular season anyway.
First Published August 30, 2012 8:00 PM