With NFL teams officially cutting their rosters down to 53 players earlier today, the focus of the league will turn to the practice squads. Players who didn’t make the 53-man roster for any number of reasons can still find gainful NFL employment via one of the 320 practice squad spots available.
If you aren’t familiar with what the rules of practice squad eligibility are, check out this article on SB Nation by Jeanna Thomas. If you don’t want to do that, the Sporting News wrote an excellent summary on practice squads as well. See below, and read the piece if you want some clarity on what goes on this time of year.
For 320 players, getting cut this week won’t be the end of the road in the NFL, as each team is granted 10 practice squad players in addition to its 53-man roster.
At 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, a full hour after the waiver claim period following roster cuts ends, teams are able establish their 10-man practice squads. Per the NFL: “No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a Practice Player Contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL Player Contract has been terminated via the waiver system.”
An NFL practice squad typically is made up of rookies and undrafted free agents who the team recently cut. Each team can carry up to four veterans — who can have no more than two accrued NFL seasons (six games on 53-man roster qualifies as an accrued season) — on its practice squad, and a player can’t be on a given practice squad for more than three seasons. Practice squad players are not eligible to play in games. Teams can sign players from other teams’ practice squads as long as the players are added to the new teams’ 53-man rosters (active/inactive).
Hang out here for updates throughout the next day or two as we track each of the Texans’ practice squad signings. If you see a tweet or report about Houston agreeing to terms with a particular player for their practice squad that hasn’t yet made its way to the main body of this post, please leave it in the Comments.
UPDATE: The Texans added Austin Exford, Vyncint Smtih, Alex McGough, Rick Leonard, and Steve Mitchell to their practice squad.
Texans sign safety Austin Exford to practice squad, per a league source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 1, 2019
UPDATE II: Houston will also add Chris Johnson, Karan Higdon, Tyrell Adams, and Albert Huggins to the practice squad.
Texans sign nine to practice squad, including Vyncint Smith, Rick Leonard, Steven Mitchell, Chris Johnson, Karan Higdon, Tyrell Adams, Austin Exford, Alex McGough, Albert Huggins https://t.co/UBgfbM1ML8— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 1, 2019
UPDATE III: The tenth and final practice squad slot has been assigned to Wyatt Ray.