NFL Considering Reducing Training Camp Rosters

By: John Walker, @realjohnwalker

The NFL (like everything else in the world) has continued to feel the effects of the global pandemic COVID-19.

Preseason games have already been canceled, and earlier this week, a report came out that suggested the NFL will continue taking steps further by lessening the number of players each team can carry on their training camp rosters. The belief is that instead of the usual 90 players permitted, the number will decrease that amount to somewhere between 75-80 players per team.

While on the surface it may not seem like a big deal (even if it’s narrowed down to 80), that’s 320 aspiring players across the league that won’t even get an opportunity to try to earn their dream this summer.

Teams will feel this effect as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers have always done a great job at finding an undrafted diamond in the rough. “Training camp bodies” that ended up flashing, then sticking, and eventually growing into key players every Sunday. Anyone remember a guy named James Harrison? How about the recently retired Ramon Foster?

Current Steelers like Mike Hilton, Matt FeilerJordan Dangerfield, Devlin “Duck” Hodges, and Tuzar Skipper are examples of undrafted players who took advantage of their training camp opportunity and made their way onto the 53-man roster. Hilton and Feiler have carved out key roles as starters for Pittsburgh. Dangerfield has solidified himself as a special teams ace and constant on the Steelers roster. Hodges was given the keys to the team last season in a relief effort, and Skipper found his way back to the 53-man roster, and is actively finding his role in Pittsburgh’s pass rush rotation.

All in all, this is a rough situation for the league. Teams will have a lesser chance at finding a stud that slipped through the cracks, and for the players, it will be harder than ever for fringe or “long shot” players to find their way onto an NFL team this summer. Several players won’t even receive a shot.

On behalf of #SteelerNation, we wish every player across all training camps the best of luck this upcoming season, and look forward to seeing them all compete for their dreams in 2021.

More to come.

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