The NFL’s recently modified injured reserve rules allow teams to activate up to two players from IR each season. However, a player must first spend six weeks off of the practice field and an additional two weeks out of from live action. With today’s move, Ray becomes the first NFL player to receive the IR-DTR designation in 2017.
Ray broke out in 2016, racking up 48 tackles and eight sacks in his 664 snaps. Only two Broncos linebackers – Von Miller and Todd Davis – saw more action than Ray last year. He ranked an above-average 45th in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 110 qualified edge defenders.
Ray was expected to start the year with a major role in the front seven, but surgery on his left wrist put a damper on those plans. It remains to be seen whether he will jump right into a starting role when he returns to the field.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.