New rule could open door for Levi return

Posted by Darren Urban on August 30, 2012 – 11:38 am

When tackle Levi Brown was first hurt with his torn triceps, coach Ken Whisenhunt — who is on the rules committee — talked about the possibility of a new rule that would allow one player on each team with a major injury to go on injured reserve for at least six weeks but still have the option to come back that season. The current version of injured reserve meant that a player on that list was done for the season.

The Cards, with the rule still not approved, put Brown on IR last week. So when it came out today that the league and the NFL Players Association decided in fact to approve the measure, it seemed at first the Cards were out of luck. Normally, a player has to remain on a team’s 53-man roster for Week 1 of the regular season — taking up a valuable roster spot — before being allowed to be put on this new IR-type designation.

But both sides agreed that, for this year only because the rule was passed so late, teams could take one of the players they had already placed on IR and bring him back to the roster if they wanted to use the new designation. That means Brown is back in play. If the Cardinals want, they can bring back Brown to the roster (it has to be by tomorrow, when the other cuts to 53 are made), hold him on the roster for the first game, and then transfer him to the new list.

There are some decisions to be made, though. Whisenhunt said originally Brown’s initial timetable to be out was three months or so, but there was no way to get a better handle on it until after Brown’s surgery (which he had recently.) The Cards have to decide if Brown’s potential recovery is worth it or if they want to “save” this spot for someone else who might be hurt early in the season (for example, they might have been able to use it for safety Kerry Rhodes and his broken foot last year.)

Even if they determine Brown can come back and they want to try it, it would then mean trimming not 22 but 23 players off the final roster, when it was already going to be tough to cut guys in a couple of areas. They would go into Week 1 with just 52 available players, and then, after the Seattle opener, move Brown over and then sign someone else to the roster with the open spot.

And, of course, that doesn’t include any other roster moves the Cards might make over the next week or 10 days with waiver claims and free agents.

Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “New rule could open door for Levi return”

  1. By D on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    It won’t matter because the time Levi will be healthy, the season/division will already be decided upon.
    I do like the new trade rules though…

  2. By Mark in Chandler on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    Actually fits in my plan. Keep Brown one game, then pick up a vet the 2nd week so the vet’s contract is not guaranteed

  3. By Briane on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    Great info Darren

  4. By Buck on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    Re the 53 – Has anyone thought of cutting Stephans-Howling and keeping both A Smith and Powell. Powell can do everything S-H can do and has a more rugged frame ( less liable to injuries).

  5. By acid77haze on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    Re Buck. So you’re implying Smith is a better player than LSH??? How do you figure?

  6. By Buck on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    Acid 77 Smith is a different kind of back that LSH. Smith is more like Wells and Williams. Powell has the speed and cutting ability to return kicks and handle short passes as does LSH and has a chance of being a more durable every day back than LSH. Just a thought.

  7. By CreditCard on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    In theory Brown could be ready for the final 6 regular seasons games plus any play-off games. Torn tricep should not affect his legs and conditioning. Could be a blessing in disguise. Brown could work on his footwork, and conditioning. Should help him into a bette pass protection tackle. Cards need to exercise this option with him.

  8. By shannon robinson on Aug 30, 2012 | Reply

    The Redskins used to cut older vets with big salaries under George Allen : guys like Miron Pottios. Jack Pardee, or Diron Talbert because other teams didn’t want to pick them up with their big contracts. After the waiver wire clearances he could save some young talented player he wanted to hide. We could do that with Haggans or Vonnie Holiday and then bring them back after week one.I think Levi is worth saving for the end of the season.

  9. By georgiebird on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    You are making the “new rule” sound like something beneficial to the Cardinals. The new rule involves personnel decisions-something the Cardinals are not that good at. If our opponents in the latter part of the year do a better job managing the IR, then the new rule can turn out to be a negative for the Cardinals.

  10. By AB on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply


    LSH has made game-changing plays in the kick return game and in special offensive packages.

    No offense to Alfonso Smith, but what has he done as far as big game-changing plays go?

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