NFL officials approved a new rule Tuesday that will double the number of players teams can bring back from injured reserve during the season. Franchises will have the opportunity to recall two players from the IR back to the active roster in 2017, allowing for greater roster flexibility for teams who lose multiple starters to injury early in the season.
The new rule modifies a 2012 reform that allowed teams to activate a single player from the IR once he’d spent at least eight weeks on the inactive list. Originally, these players had to be labeled as “designated to return” candidates at the time they were placed on IR — and the tag could only be used once. In 2016, a rule modification allowed teams to save that tag until a player was ready to take the field once more.
Andy Reid and Chiefs general manager John Dorsey are the ones who brought Smith in back in 2013. They wanted him then, and both are still in the same roles with Kansas City. And Smith recognizes that his age has to be a factor in their decision.
“I’m at a different place than the last time I dealt with something like this,” Smith said. “I get it. If any of us were the GMs, this is maybe the most important position in all of sports, and it would be crazy not to be stockpiling talent. You’d be nuts not to.”
Smith is going into his 13th season in the league, and his fifth with the Chiefs. He has never thrown more than eight interceptions in any season of his Kansas City tenure and has led the Chiefs to the postseason in three of those seasons.