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NFL places Justyn Ross on Commissioner Exempt List; here’s what that means

Ross cannot practice with the team or play in games so long as he remains on the list.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs OTA Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL placed wide receiver Justyn Ross on the Commissioner Exempt List Friday afternoon following an off-the-field incident involving law enforcement that occurred earlier in the week. Ross pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors: one count of domestic battery with no priors and one count of criminal damage to property totaling less than $1,000 on Tuesday.

Here is a description of the Commissioner Exempt List courtesy of

“The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player’s time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List.”

Ross practiced Wednesday and Thursday but is no longer eligible to participate in practice or games for the foreseeable future. Head coach Andy Reid had been asked how he would handle the circumstances on Wednesday.

“We’ll just let it play out the way it goes,” said Reid, regarding Ross on Friday. “That’s what that list is for until all the information is gathered... You let that play out. That’s what you do. That’s why [the list] is there and why the league has that.”

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