By: Ian Logue
When Friday’s final cutdown was announced, Patriots fans were likely disappointed to find out that former Olympian Jeff Demps was placed on injured reserve, ending what had been a promising preseason for the rookie.
Fans have to wait until 2013 to see Jeff Demps again. (FILE:USPresswire)
Some were then wondering how the NFL’s new injured reserved rule would potentially affect the Patriots’ ability to bring him back this season, but under the new IR rule, Demps would have had to have been on the original 53 man roster, and then wouldn’t have been able to be given that designation until after 4pm on September 4th.
The former Florida standout suffered what appeared to be an apparent leg injury against the New York Giants last Wednesday night, but he told ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss after the game that he was O.K. – which lead most to believe it wasn’t serious.
Then came Friday’s news that his season was over, which became disappointment for those who were looking forward to seeing what he could have done for the team this season.
Interestingly enough when you look at it a little further, the decision was probably the right one regardless of the severity of his injury. He wasn’t yet in football shape and was a bit underweight as a runningback (5’7″ 175lbs – nearly 25 pounds lighter than even Danny Woodhead who is just an inch taller but considered pretty small compared to other backs) and it’s obvious that he needs to put some weight back on and get his body ready for the rigors of an NFL season.
There has been some speculation about whether or not teams would be granted an exception, but according to Bill Belichick, Demps is indeed done for 2012.
“Yes,” said Belichick when asked that very question by the media during his press conference on Sunday. “Any player that is on Injured Reserve prior to this coming Tuesday is out for the year. If a player is on the active roster and they go on Injured Reserve any time after that Tuesday, they could be designated as whatever the designation thing is.”
According to Belichick the league is giving them some flexibility, but not when it came to the final roster cutdown.
“What they did was, say Dane Fletcher, we could have carried Dane on the 53-man roster and then if we had placed him on Injured Reserve, let’s say September 10, then he would have been eligible to come back,” explained Belichick. “That would have been a scenario that this new modification of the rule was for. But you would have had to carry that player on the 53-man roster. You couldn’t put him on Injured Reserve, not counted him and then designate him to come back if he had never been on the 53. In Jeff’s [Demps] case, he was never really on the 53-man roster. He was placed on IR as part of the cut-down.”
So there you have it.