Below is the rules for “PUP List”, “NFI List”, and “IR”. Read below to learn more.
Injured Reserve IR
This is generally used for in-season injuries but should a player receive a catastrophic injury during training camp, then they can be placed on IR at that point, thus all but ending their season, but such placement on the IR would open up a roster spot for a street free agent. If the injury is a 6-8, 8-10 week type healing time the team could put the player on IR to open up the roster spot and then make him one of the two eligible to return after his 6 week stay on IR.
Injured Reserve with Return Designation IR-RD
Allows a player to be placed on IR with a “RD” designation to return after spending 6 weeks on IR. A player on IR cannot practice, but he can attend meetings and get treatment and work out. Roster spots are valuable and some injuries are harder to predict, so in some cases a team will carry the injured player on the roster as opposed to going the IR or IR-RD route.
Last season, the NFL Owner’s passed a resolution allowing each team to designate a second player, that can return to the active roster following a 6 week visit to the IR with a IR-RD.
Active/Preseason PUP List
As training camp opens, players that can’t practice are generally placed on the PUP list unless it’s a Non-Football Injury (more on that below). They are eligible to practice as soon as they are cleared by the team’s medical staff. To be clear, a player has to start training camp on the PUP list to be placed on it. If a player gets dinged up in say practice #6, they cannot be added to either version of the PUP list. They have to remain on the active roster or be placed on Injured Reserve.
If a player remains on the Active/Preseason PUP list throughout training camp and the team doesn’t activate him at the start of the regular season, then he transfers over to the Reserve/Regular Season PUP list which comes with its own set of rules.
Reserve/Regular Season/PUP List
• The player is ineligible to practice or play for Weeks 1-6. (the player can receive treatment and attend team and positional meetings).
• The team then has 6 weeks starting the day after week 6 concludes until the day after week 11 concludes for the player to practice. Once that player practices they have 3 weeks (21 days) to be activated, placed on IR, or cut.
Non-Football Injury List (NFI)
This is similar to the PUP list but is generally for players that have an issue that stems from something other than a football injury. For example, if a player seeks treatment in rehab for drug or alcohol issues, they would likely be on the NFI list and have in the past.
Another example is if a player in the next month is on vacation at some Caribbean Island or tinkering on a car in the garage and cuts his foot in a manner than needs stitches and time to heal. The team has the option of placing said player on the PUP list or the NFI list. Strategically, it is better for the team to place that player on the NFI list because if that injury lingers and becomes a much larger issue then the team would have a legal right not to pay his salary since the injury happened outside of football.
Since the salary cap is a key component in what makes the NFL work, a team has to be judicial in how they protect it. Teams normally do not take a hardline stance in these situations because it creates a complicated situation, but it is there for their use if they prefer to go that route.
90 Man Active Roster
• Players actively practicing, or in the very least slightly limited
• PUP LIST – a list of players that are Physically Unable to Perform.
o Active/Preseason PUP list
o Reserve/Regular Season PUP list.
• NFI List – Non-Football Injury list
Players who do not count against the 90 man/53 man active rosters
• Reserve/Did Not Report – Essentially a player holding out, skipping camp
• IR – Injured Reserve, players that are out for the season
• IR-RD – Injured Reserve – Return Designation (this is a regular season tool)
• NFL Commissioner’s List – players that are dealing with an off-the-field legal issue. Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice were examples of the league/teams using this designation.
NFL Commissioner’s List
A special list created by the NFL for players that are dealing with a legal issue. They have basically been placed with this designation so that the teams can add a new body to the roster while the player has the legal issues worked out in the legal system. Again, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are two of the most well-known examples of being placed on the Commissioner’s list.
Reserve/Did Not Report
When there is a contract dispute and a player is fails to show up in training camp, the team and puts him on the Reserve/Did Not Report list and can add a player to the roster. Per the CBA, the team also has the ability to fine said player $30,000 per day for each day of training camp they missed. There are other penalties built in for missing preseason games and if the hold out lingers, teams have the ability to recover signing bonus dollars.
Players on the PUP list and on IR, have their cap dollars accounted for, same as those on the active roster.
Those on the Reserve/Regular Season PUP list, are ineligible to practice/play until the first day following the completion of week 6. It is based on weeks and not games.
By the end of week 11, If a player has not practiced by that point then they will not be active during the 2017 season. The team has to put them IR or release them.
Official Language: Commencing on the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend (Date varies per year) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend (Date varies per year), clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform for a period not to exceed 21 calendar days.
Pads and helmets are permitted during the 21-day period. At any time during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, clubs are permitted to restore such players on
Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform to their Active/Inactive List.
Note: Once training camp opens, an updated report will be filled based on roster designations and again once the regular season starts and players are cut down from 90 to 53, and the practice squad is filled out.