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NFL's relaxed practice rules don't cut number of players on IR

In taking a look at training camps with fewer padded practices and more rest between practices, it hasn't helped keep players off injured reserve.

The the final two years -- 2009 and 2010 -- of practice the "old school" way of double sessions and more consecutive practice days led to 65 players leaguewide on the opening day injured reserve (IR) list in 2009 and 72 players in 2010 (average of 68.5 players).

Last year was the first of the a more-relaxed way of practicing, or as termed by some: "practicing smarter."

In 2011, 68 men went from the summer practice field to IR to start the season, and this year we topped any of the past three seasons with 84 on the IR for a two year average of 76.

More players on IR with less hitting and more walk-throughs? That doesn't make sense.

Baltimore leads all teams with nine on IR, followed by Tennessee (8), Cincinnati (6) and Jacksonville (6).


Pat Kirwan has been around the league since 1972, serving in a variety of roles. He was a scout for the Cardinals and Buccaneers, a coach for the Jets as well as the team's Director of Player Administration where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. He is the author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, and the host of Sirius NFL Radio's Moving the Chains.
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