Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck
I'm not going to use the Texans as an example because... well... that's tempting fate.
So, let's say the Bears have their right guard go down because of a hangnail and he's going to be out for 6-8 weeks. They've got 4 options:
1) Stick him on the regular IR -- gone for the season, but you can sign a replacement.
2) Keep him on the roster as an inactive but this means you have to cut someone to sign a replacement.
3) Do an IR/Injury Settlement cut, which loses the guy from the team totally but allows him to play with some other team later. The player can force this if they want to play and don't want to go on IR. You can sign a replacement this way without having to cut anyone.
4) Stick him on the newfangled IR, sign his replacement, and then cut someone else when he becomes available.
But then what if Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher, Jay Cutler, Michael Bush, and Brandon Marshall all go down for 6 weeks?
But ultimately, you're right. If you've got that many injuries, it doesn't matter who you use this on as long as they're REALLY going to be back in 6 weeks. You probably don't want to waste it on someone who's going to take a year to come back. You're going to have to manage your roster the same way, with some of those guys stashed as inactives until they heal up. You'll have to cut from areas where you have "surplus" depth and sign the depth for these positions as you need them.
First of all your number 2 is flawed. You don't have to sign anyone. You could always just activate a guy that has not been active.
For instance, if the texans thought ball could fill in for demps they could just activate Harris and not sign anyone.
But my guess is that they weren't comfortable with relying on ball or keo playing extended minutes or crunch time minutes so they went out and got a guy that knows the system already and they figured wouldn't embarrass them.
Also, your scenario has more to do with timing and length of injury than it does with the importance of the player.
Replace Matt forte or jay cutler with some back up dt that is heavy in the rotation and the situation is still the same.
Well, besides being screwed, you're going to have to make some hard decisions about who you inactivate and who you sign to the 53 to replace them.
Which further proves my point that the importance of the player has nothing to do with it. What you are describing here is how it would affect bubble players.
This rule is made to benefit the ball club so they don't have to cut anyone right away and can have an extra way to stash a player.
The importance of the player doesnt matter. They are going to be out, and then they'll come back when they can play. The end.