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NFL Calendar 2015: Roster Cuts, Injured Reserve Designation Timeline, And Other Important Dates

The NFL requires teams to cut their roster to 75 players on September 1, and then reduce it to the final 53 players by September 5. See when Arian Foster might be able to return. We have those details, and other important dates, for your Houston Texans right here at Battle Red Blog.

"Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this." - Homer // photo credit:
"Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this." - Homer // photo credit:
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As we work through the third week of training camp for your Houston Texans, it seems like a good time to remind you of key upcoming dates .  There's no doubt that a few emotional scenes related to these decisions will be featured in upcoming episodes of "Hard Knocks."

Mark your calendar with these dates:

  • September 1:   3 p.m. (CDT) deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 75 players.
  • September 5:   3 p.m. (CDT) deadline for teams to reduce their rosters to 53 players.
  • September 6:   Players released the day prior can be claimed on waivers by other teams until 11 a.m. (CDT).  After 11 a.m. (CDT), those players are effectively free agents.  At this same time, practice squads can start being formed for each NFL team.
  • September 6:   3 p.m. (CDT) deadline for players to be placed on Reserve/Injured as "Designated for Return."  It is expected that the Texans will designate Arian Foster.
  • October 19:   Clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days.  This would be the earliest date that Foster could return to practice with the team.
  • November 2:   Clubs are permitted to return players to the Active/Inactive list provided the player has been on the Reserve/Injured list for at least 8 weeks.  This would be the earliest date that the Texans could put Foster back on the active/inactive roster.
  • November 3:   The NFL's trade deadline expires at 3 p.m. (CST).

With November 2nd being the earliest date that Foster can return to the active roster, the first game he could theoretically play in would be the November 16th (Monday Night Football) game on the road against the Bengals.  That's because the Texans will be on a break for their Week Nine "bye week" after they play at home on November 1st against the visiting Titans.  Let's hope that Foster is on track to lead the charge for those final eight games of the regular season.

Those are the dates for you to keep an eye on as we get through training camp and prepare for the regular season.  Who do you think will be in the first wave of cuts on September 1st?  Is there anyone in particular that you are hoping will make the final roster?  Do you have a best guess on the final 53 man depth chart?  Share your thoughts and comments below with fellow fans.