On Wednesday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the NFL is currently having internal discussions on whether or not the expand practice squads for each team from 12 to 16 in lieu of the current coronavirus pandemic.
Under the new CBA, practice squads were already set to expand from 10 to 12 players in 2020, but the potential for teams to lose players due to testing positive for COVID-19 may force the the league to allow more players to be ready and on hand for clubs who could find themselves in dire need of new bodies.
NFL practice squads were to expand from 10 to 12 players in 2020. Now, there’s internal talk about expanding to as many as 16 for greater roster flexibility for positive Covid tests, sources tell me and @judybattista. NFLPA would have to co-sign but that’s more jobs for players.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 18, 2020
The expansion of practice squads would also mean more jobs for players. In an offseason marred by the pandemic, many undrafted players will likely not get the opportunity they deserve to prove themselves to their new teams. As Chargers fans, we should understand the severity of the situation. Without the full offseason and the usual four preseason games, we wouldn’t be rooting for Austin Ekeler right now. Michael Davis wouldn’t be starting opposite of Casey Hayward.
I think as a league, they owe it to these player to increase their chances of making it in the NFL in any way they can. The first one would be this practice squad expansion. Heck, with the amount of preseason games looking like they’ll be cut in half, allowing four more players to stick around longer could do wonders for both the undrafted player and the team, assuming they find one or two diamonds in the rough.
From last night: NFL is considering expanding the practice squads to 16 players to allow flexibility for COVID-19 tests. As one exec said, this would mean fewer FA workouts & less travel. Plus if the preseason is shorter, it lets more young players stick https://t.co/c1PlkqjFGA— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 18, 2020