For every member of every NFL team’s practice squad, there must be this sense that you’re in some sort of football limbo. Last year, the 14 members of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ scout team had to feel like, even though they were officially members of the team, it was hard to feel that way sometimes.
For the uninitiated, the Eagles’ practice squad serves as a second roster of sorts, a unit consisting of players the organization sees value in keeping despite the fact that they may not be ready to place them on the 53-man roster.
They earn paychecks. They work out with the team and help with the preparation for upcoming opponents, but they don’t dress for games unless of course there are injuries and someone is elevated and asked to step in. On May 26th, league offices announced a few rule changes to help each NFL team structure theirs appropriately.
Here are a few changes we can expect to see when the Eagles begin crafting their practice squad roster.
Mike Garafolo and NFL.com announced a few newly agreed upon rule changes made by the NFL and NFL Players Association for the coming 2022-2023 regular season. Among them were the announcements that players being housed on each team’s injured reserve can return after missing four games. Previously, the waiting time had been three games.
In addition to that, every team will be allotted eight players that are permitted to return from the IR, reserve/non-football injury/illness pool to their respective 53-man rosters or practice squads per season.
Players can return from the injured reserve twice per season, but it’s also important to note that each time they do so it counts individually against the team’s allotted eight designations.
In terms of the scout team, Ian Rapoport released a full statement from the NFL and NFLPA via his Twitter account.
In short, each franchise’s practice squad is permitted 16 players. Six veterans are now allowed to be housed in the unit. The 16-player limit is an increase from the 14-player limit that’s been allotted since 2020 and the ten-man limit we had seen prior to that.
Also, teams are allowed to elevate individual players to the game-day roster three times per season. That’s an increase from the two times they were deemed eligible for elevation in 2021. Those are a few things to make note of as we inch towards training camp and as the Eagles begin work to piece their 53-man roster together.