In an anticipated move, the New Orleans Saints have placed cornerback Delvin Breaux on injured reserved Monday. The move allows the third-year cornerback to be eligible for short-term injured reserve, but Breaux will miss at least half the season.
Per the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, here’s the original language involved regarding the short-term designation:
During each season a club will be permitted to return one player from the Reserve/Injured List to its 53-player Active/Inactive List. Such player must have suffered a major football-related injury (defined as an injury that renders the player physically unable to practice or play football for a period of at least six weeks [42 calendar days] from the date that the injury occurred) after reporting to training camp and must have been placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday after the final roster reduction. A player who is eligible to return must be noted as "Designated for Return" at the time the player is placed on Reserve.
A player who has been designated for return is ineligible to practice until six weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on Reserve, and is not eligible to return to the Active/Inactive List until eight weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on Reserve. The business day (prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time) that the player is placed on Reserve counts as the first day.
In 2017, the league changed the ruling to allow a second player to return from IR. In essence, Breaux can be allowed to practice after Week 6, and activated to play as early as Week 9 (vs. Buccaneers). It’s somewhat similar to the Sheldon Rankins situation from a season ago.
It’s been a long road for Breaux, who was the subject of trade talk in early August that the Saints were looking to trade the Louisiana native due to a growing frustration with his injury history. Head coach Sean Payton had emphasized the importance of being available, and the team has moved on from the likes of Jairus Byrd and Dannell Ellerbe for that same reason.
Breaux was reportedly dealing with a bone contusion in his left leg, the same leg that he sustained a broken fibula in Week 1 of last year’s season opener against the Raiders. However, Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune reported that Breaux had an X-Ray on the leg for a more serious injury that ended up being another fracture. It was later revealed that the team doctors missed Breaux’ diagnosis, and were quickly dismissed thereafter.