The NFL and NFLPA have come to terms on a pair of rule changes for the coming season, according to Adam Schefter. The first change is to the injured reserve rule. Previously, when a player was placed on IR before the season started, they were ineligible to return during the season. This year, teams will have an opportunity to return a player from the IR during the season. According to Schefter:
Only players with a "major injury" who are placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4, or thereafter during the season, will be eligible to be reactivated at a later time.
Last year, this would seemingly have benefited the 49ers with Josh Morgan's injury. This year, the 49ers do not yet face a significant issue with this. Darius Fleming is on the PUP list which keeps him out the first six weeks. Jewel Hampton is currently on the non-football injury list and could get moved to injured reserve at some point. Given that he has not practiced in training camp, I can't imagine he would be a guy they would activate mid-season.
In other news, the trade deadline was moved from the end of Week 6 to the Tuesday of Week 8. There are not a ton of big NFL trades, but moving it back a couple weeks could open the door for some more movement as more teams fall out of the playoff chase.
Both rules were passed by the NFL during their spring meetings. The NFLPA was holding off on approving the IR rule because the league was reportedly looking for an increase in padded practices as part of passage of the IR rule. Some agreement was obviously reached in that regard.