The 2020 season is different. Maybe different isn’t the best adjective to describe it.
It is unique.
There are so many aspects of this season which are new, and also just for this year, and one of those is the expanded practice squad. Not only did the practice squad expand to 16 players, but each team can also carry 6 vested veterans within that group.
On top of all that, each team can protect four players per week from being poached off their practice squad by other organizations. Each week a list will be released showing all 32 teams’ protected players.
Here is Week 2’s list per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Steelers roster moves per NFL wire:
– OT Zach Banner on IR
– OT Jerald Hawkins signed to 53
– FS Curtis Riley off practice squad
– LB Jay Elliott, OL Derwin Gray, RB Wendell Smallwood, DL Henry Mondeaux all protected on PS
So, one practice squad spot open. Any takers?
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) September 16, 2020
Three of the four players are the same form Week 1 with Curtis Riley being the other. Riley was just signed by the Arizona Cardinals. With a practice squad position now open, it was been reported the Steelers have brought in offensive lineman Brandon Walton according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Raiders working out Jordan Mills, Patrick Omameh
Steelers working out Brandon Walton
Titans working out Adonis Alexander, Akeem King, Picasso Nelso, Kei’Varae Russell, Maurice Smith
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 16, 2020
The protected player list is just another way the 2020 season will look different, but not necessarily in a bad way. The question which runs through my mind is whether the NFL will just adopt some of these rules in the future and moving forward? Only time will tell, but there is a lot to get used to approaching the regular season.