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Practice Squad Eligibility Explained

Every year there is always plenty of talk about hiding players on the practice squad. Most of the time it’s easy to determine if someone is practice squad eligible, but not always. Especially when a player has spent time on the 53 man roster.

On Thursday Bob Labriola from Steelers.com gave a list of everyone that is eligible on his weekly chat. The following players are all practice squad eligible:

Joshua Dobbs, Bart Houston, Canaan Severin, Demarcus Ayers, Marcus Tucker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cameron Sutton, Senquez Golson, Brian Allen, Malik Golden, James Conner, JaCorey Shepherd, Trey Williams, Brandon Dixon, Brandon Brown-Dukes, Greg Ducre, Terrell Watson, Mike Hilton, Farrington Huguenin, Jacob Hagen, Kameron Canaday, Matt Galambos, Colin Holba, Keith Kelsey, Kyle Friend, Francis Kallon, Lucas Crowley, Ethan Cooper, Christian Brown, Jerald Hawkins, Lavon Hooks, Jake Rodgers, Brian Mihalik, Roy Philon, Keavon Milton, Jake McGee, Phazahn Odom, T.J. Watt, Johnny Maxey, and Keion Adams.

Every team is allowed to keep ten players on their practice squad. A player is only eligible for the practice squad if they have less than three accrued seasons of service. A accrued season counts when a player has been on a teams active roster for 6 games or more. Being on a teams practice squad for at least six games also counts as an accured season. If you are on a teams injured reserve list it counts as an accrued season. Teams are only allowed to have four out of ten players on the practice squad that have two accured years. This was expanded from two to four players last season in an attempt to help more experienced players.

The players who have at least two years of accrued services but are still eligible are listed on the exempt list. Those players are as follows:

Martavis Bryant(suspended year does not count as an accured year), Eli Rogers, Artie Burns, Fitz Toussaint, Jordan Dangerfield, Tyler Matakevich, Bud Dupree, L.J. Fort, Anthony Chickillo, B.J. Finney, Al Villanueva, Jesse James, Cobi Hamilton, Xavier Grimble, L.T. Walton, and Sammie Coates.

Only four of those players could be signed to the Steelers practice squad.

When a team places someone on the practice squad they have to clear waivers. Other teams are only allowed to sign a player from another teams practice squad if they’re signing them to their 53 man roster. The player has the choice to either go or sign with the new team. A current team can offer to pay the player more money to stay but a gameday check is significantly more money.

If the Steelers play the Browns in their current matchup, but wish to sign someone from their practice squad they have to do it at least five days in advance. If the team has a bye week prior to playing that opponent then it has to be nine days before the game.

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