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NFL practice squad rules and key dates

The Falcons can put together a practice squad tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know about the process.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The practice squad is one of those odd, vital pieces of an NFL roster. Players there aren’t on the active roster, but they are effectively stashed on the edge of an NFL team, able to grow and compete in practice, but unable to play in games unless they’re effectively called up.

Here’s what you need to know about the practice squad, which can be assembled starting this Sunday after roster cuts roll in.

Practice squad outline

  • Each NFL team can have up to 10 players on its practice squad.
  • Practice squad players ... practice with the team. They do not play in games.
  • Not all players are eligible to be signed to NFL practice squads (see new rules on eligibility above).
  • Practice squad players are paid per week and can be released at any point during the season.
  • Practice squad players are free to sign with other NFL teams, but they have to be signed to the 53-man active roster of the acquiring team. A practice squad player cannot be signed to another practice squad unless he is first released.
  • A practice squad player can not sign with his team's upcoming opponent, unless he does so six days before the upcoming game or 10 days if his team is currently on a bye week.
  • If a practice squad player is signed to the active roster, he will receive a minimum of three weekly paychecks, even if he is released before spending three weeks with the new team.
  • In order to be signed to a practice squad after being released, a player must first clear waivers, and is subject to waiver claims by other teams
  • Players make a minimum of $6,900 per week, though teams will sometimes sugar the salary to keep players from leaving for other teams

Stay tuned! The Falcons will have a ten player practice squad sometime tomorrow.