The Buffalo Bills announced who the team has placed on the protected portion of their practice squad ahead of their wild-card round meeting with the New England Patriots. The names come to us via the NFL’s transaction wire.
In 2020, the NFL implemented a new rule to help NFL teams deal with the outbreak of COVID-19. With the virus still causing the league to have a variety of safety protocols in place to prevent outbreaks, the protected portion of the practice squad is back.
These players are not allowed to be signed by another team the rest of this week. After game day, all are then fair game to be signed until the Bills name their protected players from their practice squad for the ensuing game.
This week, the Bills are back to using all of their four slots and did so on the same exact players the past two weeks. Those are:
- DT Eli Ankou
- WR Isaiah Hodgins
- DB Nick McCloud
- DB Josh Thomas
Sometimes we can potentially connect some injury-related dots to these protections. This time, we can’t considering the Bills have a light injury report and their COVID list is currently empty.
For more reference on the protected portion of the practice squad, here is our explanation of it from last season when it was introduced:
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the NFL’s owners and players came to an offseason agreement that we’ve seen the first installment of on Tuesday evening. Each team in the league can “protect” four players on their practice squad each week.
The idea is to provide some extra depth for teams in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in a locker room late in the week prior to a Sunday or Monday game. Those four can be called up to the active