Well then. I guess that's what I get for trying to turn around some quick analysis before the full cycle of a news event was finished.
The NFL will indeed have a new rule that allows one player from each team to be activated from injured reserve during the season, provided he is first part of the team's initial 53-man roster. But as part of its formal press release announcing the move, the league said there will be a one-time exception in 2012 for players who have already been placed on injured reserve this summer.
If a team wants one of those players to be eligible for in-season activation, he can be added back to the 53-man roster by Friday. That player could then be returned to injured reserve after next Tuesday to receive the designation that allows him to be activated later. (Don't bother trying to diagram that sentence.)
Sooooo, that means two NFC North players who already are on injured reserve could in fact be eligible to play later this season -- if their teams add them back to the active roster by Friday. That list includes Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and Chicago Bears safety Brandon Hardin (neck).
Again, it's debatable at best whether either player will recover from his injury before the end of the season. But from a technical standpoint, their teams could designate them in such a way that it remains a possibility. We'll know for sure by Friday. Sorry for the confusion.