Steelers, DeCastro benefit from new IR rule

If you heard some applause on the announcement of the new rule change regarding injured reserve, it probably came from the Pittsburgh Steelers headquarters.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the NFL Players Association has agreed on a rule that will allow teams to re-activate one player from injured reserve during the 2012 season.

That means the Steelers can place first-round pick David DeCastro on IR with a knee injury and have the option to bring him back later in the season. Before this rule change, placing a player on IR ended his season. That's why Pittsburgh was considering carrying DeCastro on the active roster even though he had no chance of playing for the first couple of months.

But this new rule means the Steelers don't have to use a spot on the 53-man roster anymore. As one reader pointed out, the Steelers will have to use a roster spot on DeCastro through Friday, which is the final major cutdown. According to Schefter, only players with a "major injury" who are placed on IR after 4 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 4) or thereafter during the season, will be eligible to be reactivated at a later time.