This past Sunday, the Washington Redskins signed eight familiar faces to their practice squad.
If you're like me when I was first introduced to the concept, you probably won't fully understand the criteria for being a practice squad player until someone breaks it down for you.
So before we get into the players that made the Redskins practice squad, allow me to do the honors.
Each NFL team is allowed to sign eight players, in addition to their 53-man roster, to be used during practices only.
These players can be paid significantly lower than the other players, however they are still considered free-agents and can be signed by any of the other NFL teams at any point during the season, including promoted to the active roster of the team they practice with.
To be practice squad eligible, a player must meet the following requirements:
- Must have fewer than nine games having been on any active roster
- Player can participate on a practice squad for two seasons
- Player is only eligible for a third season as long as the team's active roster remained at a minimum of 53 players during the duration of his employment, or if he has no prior accrued seasons (an accrued season is six or more games on the active roster)
These requirements are why you normally see rookies and younger players on the practice squads.
It's not worth keeping a veteran on your practice squad if he's not even good enough to have been active for nine games or more at a certain point in his career.
Here are the players that made Washington's practice squad, all of whom participated in the team's training camp and preseason games.
- LB William Compton
- DL Dominique Hamilton
- RB Jawan Jamison (7th-round draft pick, 2013)
- WR Lance Lewis
- CB Chase Minnifield
- OL Xavier Nixon
- OL Tevita Stephens
- WR Nick Williams
All eight players were waived by the team during final cuts, but were among some of the lucky few around the NFL to catch on with a practice squad.
Minnifield was one of the surprise cuts, and probably has the best chance to be promoted to the active roster at some point during the season.