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Rosters could expand if lockout drags on

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  May 25, 2011 01:15 PM

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INDIANAPOLIS - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today didn't rule out the possibility that rosters could be expanded if the lockout lingers and affects the length of training camp.

"I do believe that the uncertainty is something we have to consider as it relates to getting players ready to play," Goodell said. "Obviously, one, from an injury standpoint but two, from making the proper evaluations. We have talked about different concepts that, depending on how long (the lockout) goes, we may have to implement."

If training camp is only two weeks or less, many rookies will not be up to speed by the time the season begins. Expanding the roster would allow teams to keep rookies on the roster who would otherwise be cut because of their ineffectiveness.

Coaches would also prefer to keep veterans on the roster because they know the system and have demonstrated an ability to play at the NFL level.

According to sources, the NFL has discussed expanding both the 53-man roster and the 45-man gameday roster.

One of the plans being floated would have both rosters expanded by three players to 56 and 48, respectively.

One Patriots-related note: Owner Robert Kraft did not attend today's session while he attended to other business. Team president Jonathan Kraft was there throughout the meetings before leaving this afternoon.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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