An idea on how to stop the Injury list from being a Reserve.

It is not surprising that Riders are claiming hardship related to injuries. I mean they started season with almost have of training camp on injured reserve list.

Here is a list of just a few of riders who were on or off for part or all of the season:

Matt D
Chris S.
Eddie D.

Some these players were clearily placed on the injuried list to protect them such as Tate. Some were really hurt Matt D, Yo Murphy, Chris S, but then there are those that were moved to and fro because it was convienant and the riders were able to have more bodies around. Was it allowed in the rules you bet, everyone does it to certian extent. So now on the proposal.

For players such Tate who spent all year on the injuried list he should be released and put back into the draft so some else could have a chance at him.

Now on to some of the other players, the ones that were shuffled off and on the list to protect. If a player is placed on the the injuried list for the second time in a season, he is automatically required to spend 3 games, if he goes on for the 3rd time, he is required to 6 games on injured list.

This would eliminate using the injury list as protected player or reserve list. They changed the rules for the reserve list to make it more difficult for teams to stop poaching players. It is time they stopped teams from using the injury list as a taxi squad.


As I have stated RO1313, how many teams might have grabbed Tate, if he was on the normal reserve list last year. There might have been some that would have given him a look. But the riders were able to protect him because he was injured.

If all team do this, I don't really see how it is a problem. Either you put them on the injured list or you place them on the practice roster, where you risk losing them. My question is, why do you think this is an issue?

That is pretty much my point.
It something that is available to all teams so its not an advantage to some and a disadvantage to others

It took me some considerable time to find this and as it was completely lost on that other god forsaken thread, this seems a good place to put this. I'll post it, and then go catch up on what you guys are saying and hopefully we can have some worthwhile discussion on injuries, because the cap needs tweaking, and injuries is one of the places where tweaking can be done, and most likely will be done:

First, moi:

Quote: Next year, I think we will see more flexibility in the injury lists. But along with that, I think the league can do a better job of scrutinizing "injuries". Every team has a few players with "paper cuts" that just won't heal... Certainly the Riders had a few of those. I would prefer a new "developmental" squad, consisting of players that will see their salaries treated as per injuries, but once a player is on the list, he must remain there. If he is placed on the roster, at any time, his entire salary will then count. Then crack down hard on players with "hangnails".
Now 05, and coincidently, my response to said idea at the time. And as it turns out, Leeing gets props as well:

redwhite2005 wrote:
The problem Leeing the injury concessions are already built into the budget. I can see however where a team does not set the concessions the same as another team and may go over. So the league now they have one year of sms being enforced should look at enforcing an injury portion of the budget of teams. Teams would require to set aside so much for injuries. Like I said this is done already but it is up to the individual teams what they have a available for injuries. So thats say you have 4.5 million salary in place have a percent of injuries allowed in the salary. Anything over that is not covered. If you exempt injuries you will create a loophole. A team doctor could easily play a factor in hiding players in the injury list. So they need to have a guideline for teams to foolow regarding injuuries but still not go over the cap.

Arius said: This may surprise you. It surprises me. But you aren't completely out to lunch with that idea, 05. Instead of an overall cap, divide it into the "real" cap, the actual gameday costs, and have a separate catagory that could cover everything from injuries to flying in new recruits. That would have the effect of somewhat banishing the note from the doctor to the trash bin. One of the ongoing problems with the league (all leagues I suspect) has been the "taxi squad". Guys hanging around town with a paper cut. If you have a certain amount of room within the cap system designated for injuries (or develoment), then teams can use that portion as they see fit--no need to justify why the guy is in town, but not really hurt.

I think you still need all/most of the guidelines and rules covering these areas, but your idea, with a little polishing, could streamline things--increase the transparency.

Regarding just the injury issue, even within this new arrangement, some teams can be devastated by injuries.
So some means to allow for that issue still needs to be implemented.
The 9 game list was some help, but it was to inflexible.
With the Riders, Matt Dominguez, in hindsight, should have went on the 9-game (and then most of the issues regarding the riders--over or not--would have never arose), but the original diagnosis was 4-6 weeks. You don't place the best receiver in the league on the 9 game if he will be back in 4 weeks.
BC had the same issue with DD.
So a new 3-6-9 list seems the way to go.
The league can hash out the details, but essentially, if you place a guy on the 3 game, things work as normal. But if you extend that player to 6, the effect on the cap changes, and then if you extend him again, you still receive all the benefits capwise that occur under the current system.

What the system needs is flexibility and transparency.
These two relatively simple concepts could fix a lot of problems.
Props for both your ideas, Leeinq and 05.

The reason you need to do this Sambo42, is correct me if I am wrong. As long as a player is on the injury list they can't be claimed. So no team would have been able to claim Tate.

However, if Tate was on the normal 4 person list, the riders might have lost him and the other team would have had to dress him for two games. Or worse because the normal reserve list is full then he would have been given his walking papers outright.

For Tate is is relatively easy to understand the concept. But what happens when you have 2 or 3 linebackers who shuffled back and fourth. The Riders have now expanded there reserve list from 4 players to X players.

So taking that to exterme this year, the riders turn around and claim, oh we are over but it really it is related to all the injuries we had. But in reality without the ability to move that many players around they might not be over then it makes a difference.

Don't get mad Mike, but I am going to start by explaining "how" the injury reserve works.
It hides players in a few ways.
One is, each team has a maximum number of players it can carry at any time. That number does not include injury reserve players.
Another thing it does, is allows a team to keep a player that if on the practice roster, would be exposed to any team in the league plucking him off the practice roster.
That is how we got Mike Washington last year, or Calgary got Ben Sankey--both players were on the practice roster and 'plucked off".
Can't do that to a player on injured reserve.
Next, a player on the practice roster only gets paid $500 a week. A player on injured reserve receives 70% of his regular paycheck.
Which for some players becomes a substantial difference.
A guy like Tate isn't likely to hang around all year for 500 a week.
Especially if someone offers him a roster spot.

So ro, for all those reasons, teams are using the injury reserve to hide players. It is a taxi squad, and ro, taxi squads have always been "cheating".
Over the years these changes to the roster have all come about as the result of essentially legalizing the "cheating, ie., teams were doing it anyway, teams wanted to be able to do it, so make it possible:

the third QB spot on the roster.
The reserve roster spots.
The practice roster.
Allowing teams to carry extra bodies on the practice roster after the final NFL cutdown.

There may be more, but that is all I can think of now.
And all those things cost money and are cap related.
But if you have a player in town that you want to develop for the future, such as Brian Jones or Drew Tate, as it stands now, if you place them on the 0 game injured list, you can keep them, pay them and avoid the rules limiting roster size AND avoid SMS limits.
Ro asks why do we care?
I guess at some level we don't.
But realistically, why have roster limits at all.
Why not let each team dress as many players for a game as they want; keep as many guys in camp as they want?
The reason, the "why" is that it all affects the competitive balance.

So there is a rationale behind preventing taxi squads.
And where taxi squads and injuries meet, the league needs to do a better job of creating transparency in the system.
It is ridiculous that guys like Tate and Jones were on the injury list all year. It is ridiculous that the Riders were able to hide them like that.
But I think it is just as ridiculous that they needed to "hide" them.
Which goes to the rule changes as suggested by both myself and 05 and leeing that I have presented in my previous post, and what Mike is talking about as well

So Sambo and ro, it is an issue, and I believe enough of one that the league will in fact make changes to the injury list and how it impacts both rosters and the SMS before the start of this year.

I know for a fact that several coaches and GNs specifically talked about the inflexibility of the 9 game injury list in particular, so that will almost certainly be changed in some way.


Very long winded response, the only thing, I take exception to the zero game injured list. As far as I know, the only injury list salaries that don't count against sms is the 9 game. Therefore, putting someone on the 0 games does impact sms.

If this turn into another cap thread, so help me.......

Just to hopefully avoid confusion in the future, we are talking about a few different things here.
The 4 man reserve is different than the practice roster. A player on reserve is protected and cannot be taken by another team.
Then there is the practice roster, which is seven guys.
You can move players back and forth from the active roster to the reserve as late as one hour before gametime. Practice roster players legally shuttle back and forth, though removing a player from the active roster and placing him on the practice roster exposes him to other teams.
nd then we have the injured players.
There are a number of rules covering all of this, but many of the players that the Riders were “shuttling” in and out, had no impact upon the injury situation, and were completely within the rules. And they also were completely accounted for by the SMS.

Here is the roster part of the SMS:

# Limit on Players Under Contract to 75 players in off-season, 68 players by training camp (current year draft choices exempt). # Active Roster Limit (ARL) increased to 42 from 40 (1 import, 1 non-import), and a 4 man Reserve Roster. # Filing of Rosters timing changed from 48 hours notice to 1 hour prior to kickoff. # Practice Roster: Each club may have a practice roster consisting of a maximum of seven 7 players in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
* At least 1 place on the practice roster shall be filled by a non-import player (other than a non-import player who was a candidate in the current year CFL Canadian Draft, who is not the property of another CFL club);
* If 7 places are used by a member club on it’s practice roster, at least 1 place on the practice roster shall also be filled by a non-import player who was a candidate in the current year CFL Canadian Draft, who is not the property of another CFL club.;
* During 30 days during the season which coincide with the National Football League cut-down of roster period, each CFL club may increase it’s practice roster up to a maximum of twelve 12 players.</blockquote>

In some threads, people have talked about teams having 70 players in camp, and they seem to think that is absurdly high or something, but during the NFL cutdown, you can legally have 61 players, not counting injuries.
That means to arrive at 70, you need 9 injured players, which the Riders had (legitimately) most of the year.
Most teams likely have between 65-75 players around most of the season.

You are correct.
Only player salaries covered by the 9 game injury list are exempt.

And all my responses are long winded.
Surely you know that by now.

Just so you know, I haven't looked real close at your opening suggestion, but at first glance it has some appeal.
I think if you look at what 05 said, and what I said, you will see some similarity, though I believe we are approaching the issue from opposite ends.

Hopefully, it won't get crazy ro, but I don't know how to tell you this but rosters and how injuries impact them and SMS are interrelated making it difficult to discuss one topic without referring to the other.

As long as we stay away from who was cheating and by how much, it'll be okay....

NO Ro1313

This is not another cap discussion but these decisions affect the cap. That is one of the reasons, why the league should enforce the injury list. The other is the protection of players that should normally be cut or put on the practice roster and are therefore subject to be called up.

There is nothing to inforce. It is something all teams are legally allowed to do.

I assume Mike is referring solely to players that are being placed on the injury list when in fact they are not injured.
That teams are not legally allowed to do.
The problem with injuries is, if a guy says his back hurts and he can't play, how do you enforce that?
The proposal I put forward, and the one 05 put forward, essentially says, so what?
Teams would have X number of dollars they can spend on injury related costs and if a guy says his back hurts, each team can decide if that is credible or not and use their valuable injury cap space on that player.
Once the team goes over the injury cap, any future costs will count towards the main salary cap.
So if the Riders want to keep a Drew Tate around all year, on the injured list so they can protect him, that would no longer be "hiding" a player.
All it means is, if, as in this year, a team has an excessive number of injuries, it will catch up with you at the other end of the cap.
There are all sorts of variations and subtlties in exactly how to apply this type of change, but the objective is to increase the transparency in the system.
I say Drew Tate was never hurt. Maybe he did have a tender knee or a sore back.
Who really knows.
In the system 05 put forth, as well as myself, it no longer matters.
No system will ever be perfect, but this would be an improvement.

What Mike is proposing is an actual method to punish teams for using the injury list as a taxi squad.
It has some merit, though I think as it sits, it creates a few issues. With some refining though, I believe he is on the right track.

Maybe there should be a limit as to how many players you can put onto the injured list, and you have to show proof, such as a team doctor and an independent dr.'s opinion that he is actually injured.

The only problem I have with a fixed dollar amount is what is that amount. For example: glassjaw got hurt in the second game was out for the next 13 lets say and was available for the next 3. At his $450K salary the he would cost the team $325K or if you take it at 70% salary $225. Then they had Tony S on the 9 game as well. So it is not impossible to have three or more regular starters out for at least 9 games at once on the list. It would not leave much room unless that threshold was set at a realistic value.

I don't think you need to punish a team for valid injuries. Because players would be hidden in other areas, like they used to do with the old practice / taxi squads.

For the riders, the Tate issue is the first time in a very long time that I have noticed the riders take a relatively unknown product (pro wise) and protect him all year without at least dressing him. So Austin must have been high on him.

In terms of getting an independant doctor, well we know how well that works with the insurance industry. One of the easiest injuries to fake is a muscle strain, look at all the lower back problems.

It is beyond me why DD wasn't placed on the 9 game injury list last year, but that was their choice.
But with the proposed fixed dollar amount, the only thing that really changes is it makes the system more flexible and more transparent.
It won't eliminate problems--no system every will be perfect--but it is better than the way they do it now.
As I said, once you use up all the "injury cap space" any overages revert to the rest of the regular cap, and becomes very much like it is now.
But if an appropriate amount of injury space is provided each year, that won't be an issue often.
I am sure it can be a reasonable igure predetermined based on historical injury levels.
This year the league average was 225,000.
So in 2008, maybe the amount could be set at approximately 300,000 or such.
Combined with a more flexible 3-6-9 game list, or the return of the 15 day/30 day lists, most years that amount would be plenty.
And really, you can't set the number too high as, if late in the year you found yourself with extra space on the "injury list" but it was tight on the "regular cap", teams could legally move any practice roster plaers to the "injured list" (which might be an inappropriate name for it) thereby using up that excess and protecting a player asset at the same time.
So it isn't like it would force salaries down to compensate for injury costs.

And if you have a clause allowing a "development player" to be treated similar to an injured player, ie., 70% salary, but not available to play, etc., as I suggested several posts ago, that provides another twist, which again increases transparency and flexibility.
And that is what it is all about.
With that idea, you creat a new catagory of player.
Roster, roster reserve, practice roster, injured reserve, 3-6-9 game injured reserve and "developmental" reserve.

All these ideas are merely tweaking what is there, which really, for the most part works fairly well, and of course can be refined into a more comprehensive concept as opposed to the myriad of "possible" ideas we are tossing around.

As I said, the league will almost certainly revisit the 9 game injury list this year, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Regarding Sambo's point, yes--independant verification might help, but how practical is it?
Extra costs, extra time and then if the league doctor says it isn't, but the team doctor says it is, things can get murky in a hurry.
The thing is, if a player can't play, teams don't tend to sit a guy just because if he is the starter, so the system self-regulates fairly well.
It is just at the edges where we have some issues.
Expanding the system by allowing the "developmental player" and changing the 9 game to some kind of 3-6-9 game and tightening down the system from the other end by forcing teams to "budget" X dollars for injuries should alleviate most of the same issues independant doctors can, but with less hassle and expense.

But Sambo, I assume right now that the league has access to medical records regarding injuries in determining SMS aplications anyway.
Though there are some privacy issues involved.

If what you posted in the other rider thread is correct, the $225K figure that Tillman quoted is not exempted injury figures. If what you were saying those are salary dollars that are part of the cap.

I would expect the 9 list is considerably higher amount.