In the year of COVID-19, the practice squad rosters will look a little different this year, and it might benefit each team around the league, including the Las Vegas Raiders.
This will be the last week the Raiders staff will have a chance to take a closer look at who will make the final 53-man roster heading into the 2020 NFL season.
But the dream doesn't stop there; there is also a chance of a group of players making the Raiders practice squad roster.
Changes had already been in place for 2020, as practice rosters were increased from 10 to 12 players, including an increased salary. Another note on these changes is that it will remain in place for the 2021 season.
But thanks to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, some changes were added for this year's season.
First and foremost, the most significant change on the practice roster is the eligibility. The Raiders and the rest of the NFL teams will be allowed to have up to six veteran players, regardless of their accrued seasons.
Second is the number of players who can be added to this roster. As was voted on earlier this year, teams are allowed to have 16 players rather than 12 on their practice roster due to COVID-19, and can protect four of those players from being signed by other teams.
The Raiders have a handful of borderline players from making the roster but can potentially land and benefit from spending some time on the practice squad.
On offense, the wide receiver group added tons of weapons, and that leaves behind a few players who know the system but need more help developing. Keelan Doss and De' Mornay Pierson-El find themselves in a difficult spot and could land on the practice squad.
Offensive lineman Kamaal Seymour, Andre James, and Jordan Roos can all find themselves out there on the practice squad. We saw how valuable these linemen could be if a player goes down with an injury.
On defense, Kendal Vickers is a potential edge rusher who can spend some time picking things up during the practice squad.
Defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk is a player to watch for who might be placed on the practice squad and may end up in the as a back up in the Raiders 53-man roster. If they don't protect him, he may end up on another teams' roster.
Newly added linebackers Sharif Finch and Ukeme Eligwe, who spent most of his career on the practice squad, can be back there this season.
The defensive back unit is loaded with talent, and I can see any of these players on the final roster on any given week with the new rules in place. Cornerbacks Isaiah Johnson and Dylan Mabin, and safety Dallin Leavitt might have all been on the roster last year, but the addition of depth and skill may have these players off the final roster for now.
And then there are a few slots open for acquiring a few players from different teams potentially. If you remember, Darren Waller was picked up from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad, and look at what he ended up becoming.
The fact that teams are allowed to stock up on players they are familiar with will surely benefit, mostly if one or two players fall to injury or do not perform well on a week-to-week basis.
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