Former Utes find homes for the upcoming NFL season

Ryan Kostecka

Since Saturday was the deadline for NFL teams to finalize their respective 53-man rosters, Sunday was the deadline for those teams to finalize their respective practice squads.

And after former Utes found themselves waived from their respective teams on Saturday, many of them found new homes on the practice squads of teams. 

Typically NFL teams are only allowed to carry 12 players on a practice squad. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation, the NFL has allowed for teams to carry 16 players for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Players who find themselves as member of the practice squad will make $134,400 over the 16-week season, or rather $8,400 per week.


The 12 Utes who got cut were...
*Tyler Huntley, QB — Baltimore Ravens
*Josh Nurse, CB — Baltimore Ravens
*Brian Allen, CB — Buffalo Bills
*Francis Bernard, LB — Dallas Cowboys
*Darrin Paulo, OT — Denver Broncos
*Jackson Barton, OT — Kansas City Chiefs
*Javelin Guidry Jr., CB — New York Jets
*Pita Taumoepenu, LB — Seattle Seahawks
*Matt Gay, K — Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Tony Bergstrom, C — Washington Football Team
*Jared Norris, LB — Washington Football Team
*Nate Orchard, DE — Washington Football Team

Of the 12 Utes who were cut from teams on Saturday, seven of them have now landed on the practice squad — headlined by Huntley and Bernard.

Huntley was locked into a battle with Trace McSorley for the third-string quarterback position at the Baltimore Ravens — but he apparently lost out on that spot.


Meanwhile, the waiving of Bernard by the Dallas Cowboys was arguably the most shocking of a decision regarding a former Ute.

Bernard quickly established himself as a playmaking linebacker during fall — and emerged as one of the stars of the camp according to star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

"Francis Bernard. I think he’s really taken off,” Vander Esch told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Wednesday when asked who some of the breakout stars in camp were. “He’s a smart kid. He plays fast and obviously he’s made plays. He’s gotten an interception in the last two padded practices so I think he’s making a name for himself. And I think he’s gonna be awesome for our room. Pumped to have him with us. Like I said, he’s smart. He plays fast. He’s instinctual. He’s going to be huge on special teams for us and when he finds his time on the field, he’s going to do just fine.”

The 7 Utes who landed on practice squads are...
*Tyler Huntley, QB — Baltimore Ravens
Francis Bernard, LB — Dallas Cowboys
*Darrin Paulo, OT — Denver Broncos
*Jackson Barton, OT — New York Giants
*Javelin Guidry Jr., CB — New York Jets
*Jared Norris, LB — Washington Football Team
*Nate Orchard, DE — Washington Football Team

The NFL season gets underway on Thursday night with the reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans.

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