In this most unusual of NFL seasons, every team is one COVID-19 outbreak away from suddenly needing to quarantine players and find other players to fill in for them. That’s where practice squads will come in.
This year, practice squads have been increased to 16 players, and a new rule allows two players to move between the active roster and the practice squad without having to clear waivers. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he views making the practice squad as like making the roster this year, because he’s counting on practice squad players to be ready to go on game day.
“You have to assume they’re going to play any given week,” he said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.
So far, the NFL has managed to avoid any major COVID-19 outbreaks, and the league and its teams are hoping that continues to be the case. But practice squad players need to approach the season as if they’re an integral part of the roster, which they might prove to be.