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NFL Practice Squad rules you didn’t know about

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The NFL franchises are gearing up for the practice squad this season. The practice squad is given much more importance than one might think.

NFL Practice Squad rules you didn't know about - THE SPORTS ROOM

It is a back-to-back 17-game season which means it is going to take a toll on the players. There are going to be countless fights and injuries and these injured players need to be replaced. The practice squad makes it easier for the 32 participating teams to make such replacements quickly and easily by choosing players who are already familiar with how the whole thing works.

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But the NFL practice squad has certain rules.

  • Scooping up players isn’t so easy

The first major rule of the NFL practice squad states that a player cannot be picked up by another team to be a part of their practice squad unless of course he is signed to the team’s active roster.

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You’d think teams would be swapping players like that and ending competition by getting the rival player on their team but that does not happen here. No team is allowed to have a rival practice squad player on their side. This obviously maintains a healthy competition.

For a practice squad player who has been approached by the rival team, no matter how tempting the offer can be, he cannot sign with them if his team going to play against them next. But the rule here is a little relaxed. If the next game is going to take place after six or more days, then the player is free to sign with the opponent team.

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  • Covid-19 considerations

The pandemic is still ongoing, and the NFL practice squad has made certain rules in consideration of the pandemic. If a certain player turns out to be covid positive a few hours before the game is to commence, then the committee allows the team to promote the new player 2 hours before the match.

  • The protection clause

With 32 teams competing, rivalry among the teams can get a little out of hand. So the NFL practice squad introduced the protection clause. The teams can protect up to four practice players. It means that these players cannot be approached by rival teams.

This can be done only once a week, on Tuesday after 4 PM. There is no limit to how many times a player can be protected, which allows the team to save their best players.

  • Too many seasoned players are not allowed

Not more than six players are allowed to have more than two years of accrued experience playing seasons.

  • The 54th and 55th spot

Did you know that the NFL can promote up to two players without actually signing them to the roster? Several teams have applied this mechanism before.

Giving the players a 54th and 55th spot ensures that you do not have to create an extra spot on the roster for the new player. It is more like a temporary thing. As soon as the game ends, he is to go back to the practice squad and there is no waiver involved here.

If a franchise wants a particular practice squad to play a season, the transaction has to take place a day before the game at 4 PM.

In a single season, the practice squad player can be called up only twice. For the third time, the franchise has to sign him to the active roster.

The practice squad size was increased this season by NFL. It was meant to be 10 or 12 squads but NFL decided to increase it to 16 due to the covid situation. Covid-19 had a significant impact on the season’s practice squad. Not only was the size increased but the salaries of the rookie players saw a hike too. They are going to make $660k this season!

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