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The Buffalo Bills announced who the team has placed on the protected portion of their practice squad for their Week 5 meeting against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The names come to us via the NFL’s transaction wire.
In 2020, the NFL implemented a new rule to help NFL teams deal with the outbreak of COVID-19. With the virus still causing the league to have a variety of safety protocols in place to prevent outbreaks, the protected portion of the practice squad is back.
These players are not allowed to be signed by another team the rest of this week. After Sunday’s game, all are then fair game to be signed until the Bills name their protected players from their practice squad for the ensuing game.
This week, Buffalo opted to only protect three players (they can do so with four max) on their practice squad. Those three, who are the exact same three the team protected last week, are:
OL Jamil Douglas
CB Cam Lewis
DB Josh Thomas
Sometimes a few conclusions can be drawn from the players a team protects on the practice squad in terms of injuries. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case this week for the Bills.
The players least surprisingly protected by Buffalo are Lewis and Thomas. As of now, the Bills only have five cornerbacks on their active roster,
Lewis also had a strong performance in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. He was called up to play for the then-injured Taron Johnson.
Douglas has previously been protected by the Bills as well, but now it makes even more sense for Buffalo to do so. Recently, rookie seventh-round pick Jack Anderson was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles off of the Bills’ practice squad.
Anderson, a guard, previously was protected by Buffalo on their practice squad.
For more reference on the protected portion of the practice squad, here is our explanation of it from last season when it was introduced:
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the NFL’s owners and players came to an offseason agreement that we’ve seen the first installment of on Tuesday evening. Each team in the league can “protect” four players on their practice squad each week.
The idea is to provide some extra depth for teams in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in a locker room late in the week prior to a Sunday or Monday game. Those four can be called up to the active roster up until Sunday morning prior to kickoff every week.
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