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NFL expands number of players who can get IR-return designation

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The Bengals used both of their IR-return designations in 2019.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL just made a change that will likely benefit the Bengals moving forward.

On Thursday, the league approved a change which will expand the number of players that can be designated for return from injured reserve from two to three, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.

The Bengals are typically one of the NFL’s most injury-prone teams and end up with a bevy of players on IR, so having another slot to bring one back is great news. The league is still requiring that anyone who can get an IR-return designation must be on the 53-man roster when the regular season begins.

Last year, the Bengals used each of their two IR-return spots, designating cornerback Darius Phillips and wide receiver John Ross to return late in the season after sustaining early-season injures.

Other players who landed on IR last year included wide receiver A.J. Green, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, guard Alex Redmond, tight end Drew Sample, defensive tackle Renell Wren, safety Brandon Wilson, cornerback William Jackson, defensive end Kerry Wynn, and wide receiver Auden Tate

And with the entire NFL offseason potentially being wiped out due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s a decent chance we’ll see more injuries in 2020 than in previous years, so having another IR-return spot should be very beneficial.