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Mailbag: Explaining The New Roster Rules?


I understand that there is still a 53-man roster and now a 16-man practice squad. For game day, two practice squad players can move to the active roster. Do you get two more added to the 46-man game day roster? What happens to the two players after the game -- revert to practice squad or remain on roster, seeing as you can only promote a guy two times before exposing them to waivers? It's confusing. Thanks. — HOWARD STEVENS / ALLENTOWN, PA

David: I don't blame you for being confused, because it's a lot to digest. I'm still working through it myself. As far as I understand it, the new rule allows you to move two practice squad players to your active roster for game day, which also increases the game day roster to 48 spots. When the game is over, those two guys revert to the practice squad without being subjected to waivers. However, as you noted, you can only do this twice with a player before he must go through waivers. So I'd imagine that teams will need to be strategic with how they use those extra spots – if they even use them at all.

Rob: Dave covered it. The only thing I would add is a little clarity on the practice squad. This year the size has increased from 10 to 16 players, and each week the team can select four players who can't be signed to another team's 53. Also, six of the 16 players can have any experience level in the league -- no limit on accrued seasons, etc. By expanding the practice squad, the league is providing teams with some extra roster contingency plans this season.

I know everyone has raved about how good CeeDee Lamb has looked in camp, but is it possible all this praise is building up expectations too high to where it'll be impossible for him to live up to them? — MARK INSERRA / KINGSVILLE, TX

David: It's certainly possible. NFL history is filled with can't-miss prospects who failed to deliver on the hype. That's what makes the draft so intriguing. But from what I've seen over the course of three weeks of practice, I'm not worried about that with CeeDee. If he's healthy, I'll be shocked if he's not a difference maker. The big thing that gives me confidence is that no one is asking him to be "The Guy" right away. He's just one piece of a very talented offense, and that talent should make his job easier.

Rob: The hype is justified based on what we've seen out here. It's only practice, and there's no tackling, but he has been one of the most dynamic performers in camp without any offseason practice. Highlight catches aside, the most impressive thing to me is his consistency from practice to practice. His teammates and coaches also say he's diligent about asking questions. Developing a rapport with Dak Prescott and being a reliable receiver is a "huge responsibility" to him. When you combine his talent with that approach, then yes, he has a real chance to contribute right away.

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