NFL teams get creative during roster cuts.
Players who go on injured reserve before the initial 53-man roster is set are not eligible to return during the season. But players who do make the initial roster are eligible to return from IR after sitting out four games.
So teams often carry an injured player on the initial roster and then move him to IR the next day. Denver Broncos general manager George Paton said Tuesday that the team plans to use that strategy with two players this year: tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring) and Michael Ojemudia (elbow).
To be able to carry Dulcich and Ojemudia on the initial 53-man roster, though, the Broncos had to cut two players who would be able to return the next day.
Denver chose tight end Eric Tomlinson and nose tackle Mike Purcell as the cuts making room for Dulcich and Ojemudia on the initial roster. Because they are both veterans, Tomlinson and Purcell are not subject to the NFL’s waiver wire — they simply became free agents right away.
As soon as Dulcich and Ojemudia are placed on IR on Wednesday, the Broncos plan to re-sign Tomlinson and Purcell to the 53-man roster.
Creative? Complicated? Maybe a combination of both. Whatever the case may be, Tomlinson and Purcell should be back on the active roster soon.