Proposal could benefit Chris Clemons

PHOENIX -- The serenity found amid the finely manicured gardens at the Arizona Biltmore resort could unburden even the most cluttered mind.

Yet, while NFL brass basked under the warm desert sun at the annual owners meeting, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert and I discussed proposed changes to Article XII, Section 12.3 of the NFL's constitution and bylaws.

That's my story, anyway.

The proposed changes, buried among pages of NFL legalese, could affect prominent players in the divisions we cover.

Chris Clemons of the Seattle Seahawks comes to mind immediately in the NFC West. The team's top pass-rusher suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the Seahawks' playoff game at Washington in January, making him a strong candidate to open the 2013 season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

The proposed rules change would allow players on PUP lists to return as late as following their teams' 11th games. Current rules force players on PUP to return no later than their teams' ninth games.

In Clemons' case, the Seahawks could hold him out two additional weeks, extending his window for recovery before returning him to the field in time for a playoff push.

Players on PUP lists can attend team meetings, but they must miss the first six games of the season. At that point, teams have previously had a three-week window for players to practice before returning them to the 53-man roster. The proposed rule would allow teams to push back that three-week practice window by two games.

Clemons could, in theory, return for Week 15.