NFL alerts teams of practice squad expansion

 

Chicago Tribune

The NFL passed along a memo to teams Tuesday with rubber-stamped approval for expanding practice squads from eight to 10 players this season, a move that will go into effect immediately and will essentially open up 64 new job opportunities around the league after final cuts are made Aug. 30.

That's the deadline for teams to condense their rosters down to 53 players for the start of the regular season. At present, every team in the league is allowed to be carrying 90 players with a cutdown to 75 coming by Aug. 26.

After final cuts are made and waivers complete, teams can then assemble their practice squads and this year will have two extra job openings to work with.

The change is expected to receive overwhelmingly favorable approval from teams around the league as a means of enhancing their player development. It will be a notable step toward helping teams create more quality depth.

In the Bears' case, the move should create added roster flexibility as general manager Phil Emery puts the pieces of his puzzle together. For example, Emery used a sixth-round draft pick in May on quarterback David Fales with an eye on developing him into a long-term back-up option. But the Bears likely won't be able to afford keeping Fales on their 53-man roster as the No. 3 quarterback behind Jay Cutler and whoever wins the No. 2 job between Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer. So the ideal landing spot for Fales seems to be on the practice squad.

The same might be true for undrafted rookie linebacker Christian Jones, who clearly has plenty of athletic upside and potential but is facing a cruel numbers game at his position in a quest to make the 53-man roster. The Bears are likely to keep a maximum of six linebackers with Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, Shea McClellin and D.J. Williams likely roster locks and Khaseem Greene and Jordan Senn good bets as well.

It remains to be seen whether other young and still developing players will find a home on the practice squad but this latest development should come as welcome news to guys like running backs Jordan Lynch and Senorise Perry, offensive tackle Charles Leno and defensive tackle Tracy Robertson, all prime candidates to become practice squad players in a couple weeks.

(EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM)

Practice squad expansion has been formally approved for this season and 2015 and will be re-evaluated from there.

Read more Football Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category