The injured reserve is a list of players who are injured and unable to play. NFL teams use the reserve so they can keep a player on the team but not take up a roster spot. A team is allowed 53 players on the roster.
Currently, the NFL's injured reserve rule restricts a player from returning to play during the season that he's placed on the list. For further information on the rules concerning the contract status and compensation for injured players, see the Collective Bargaining Agreement (or CBA).
This represented a rule change which, I believe (I'm still researching this), was instituted when the current CBA was ratified.
Prior to that, the injured reserve rule distinguished between a player going on the list before the final roster was set (in pre-season) and after that. A player going on injured reserve in pre-season was, like now, lost for the season but a player going on the list during the season only had to sit out for a minimum of four games.
Apparently, the NFL owners pushed for this rule change in an effort to police themselves. I've read that some, unnamed, owners (the NFL owners' meetings are private) felt that some teams were illegally using the injured reserve list to stash players who weren't really injured to circumvent the rules on roster limits (to gain a competitive advantage).
Injured reserve list
A player on injured reserve remains on the team but cannot participate on the active roster for the remainder of the season.
An NFL team has 53 men on its roster not counting injured reserve.
Yes. He is still on contract.
OVER 9000 every year
75000-1million depending on the player
Yes, but someone has to take the injured person's place
Enough to afford hooked on phonics
NFL Players who are put on the IR (injured reserve) are paid.
Yes he can only comeback next season
No. Only 53 players may be in uniform; players on injured reserve are not eligible to play again that season. However, they typically accompany the team on the sidelines, out of uniform.