In announcing the Vikings 53-man roster late Saturday afternoon, we mentioned that the next step for the Vikings – and all NFL teams – is to build a practice squad. The practice squad is often easily dismissed as a group of players with no place in the NFL, but keep in mind that several players currently on the Vikings 53-man roster were on a practice squad at some point in their career.
So here are a few things to keep in mind with regard to the rules and procedures that govern NFL practice squads…
– Expect to see teams announce their practice squads of no more than 8 players sometime after 11:00 p.m. CT on Sunday. Players on the practice squad will be eligible to practice with their teams immediately, an important condition of the rule because the Vikings will begin preparing for their Thursday night season-opener tomorrow.
– In order for a club to sign a player originally on its roster to the practice squad, that player must first pass through the waiver system. If that player is not claimed, he is then eligible to be signed to the practice squad.
– Players who’ve accrued a season of free agent credit are not practice squad eligible.
– Players who have 1 or more Accrued Seasons but who were on the 45-player Active List for fewer than 9 regular season games during each of such Accrued Seasons are practice squad eligible.
– A player may serve on a practice squad a maximum of 3 seasons; a season on the practice squad is accrued once the player is on the squad for 3 or more regular season or postseason games.
– A practice squad player may be elevated to the Active List (53-man roster) of his team.
– If a practice squad player is signed to the 53-man roster of another team, the new team must count said player against its 53-man limit for 3 weeks, even if the new team eventually terminates said player’s contract or exposes said player to waivers in order to place said player on its practice squad.
Keep in mind that there are more procedures and guidelines involved in governing NFL practice squads, but the details are too much to include in this entry. But the above notes represent some of the major rules.
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