After an initial report from ESPN that the Atlanta Falcons would place on linebacker Brooks Reed on short-term injured reserve list, the team announced this morning that would not be the case. Reed is expected to miss around six weeks recovering from a recent groin injury and instead will be carried on the team’s 53-man roster until he’s ready to return.
NFL teams are allowed to place one player per season on their injured reserve-designated to return list, which is different from the normal injured reserve list. The latter list indicates that the player is done for the season, as is the case withFalcons guard Jon Asamoah (hip) and fullback Collin Mooney (ruptured biceps), who both were added to the injured reserve list on Saturday. But the designated to return variant of the list (often called the short-term I.R.) means that players may come back after eight weeks. The Falcons have used the short-term list the past two seasons with William Moore in 2014 and Sean Weatherspoon in 2013.
The fact that Reed was not placed on the list may not yet be an indicator of his status given the still lengthy recovery time and the fact that this is not the first time that Reed has been limited with a groin injury since joining the Falcons in March. It simply could be a matter of the Falcons wanting to save the short-term I.R. designation for a later date this season, especially given that Reed may be back from his injury in under eight weeks.
Putting Reed on the short-term I.R. would have freed up a roster spot, which presumably could have been used to elevate linebacker Tyler Starr from his expected stint on the practice squad to the active roster.