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UPDATED: League continues expanded practice squads

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The 2022 season will mark major changes for the Seattle Seahawks, as it will be with the first time in more than a decade that the team will take to the field without Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. On top of that, there are a significant number of new names and faces on both sides of the ball, with a new scheme set to be deployed by a defense that has failed to live up to the standards of greatness set by the Legion of Boom earlier in the tenure of Pete Carroll and John Schneider.

At the league level, several other differences will be in place as well. Most notably, perhaps, is that the league will be operating without the COVID Amendment to the CBA for the first time since 2019, which means a return to the old injured reserve and practice squad rules.

The most notable difference the COVID Amendment brought to the league was the new injured reserve rules which allowed teams to return as many players as they wished from injured reserve after just a three week stay on the list. Fans greatly enjoyed this rule, which likely means the NFL will trash it.

However, another notable difference the COVID Amendment brought was the expansion of practice squads from 12 players to 16. The CBA adopted in 2020 expanded the practice squad to 14 players beginning with the 2022 season, however, a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN indicates that the league could look to keep the squads at 16 for the 2022 season.

So, it would seem par for the course for the NFL to opt not to keep the rule fans loved while retaining a less popular temporary rule that doesn’t necessarily have the same impact on the quality of the game on the field. Obviously, it’s possible the league could keep both, but that would be logical, so it seems unlikely it’s what they do.

UPDATE:

The league has officially adopted expanded practice squads for the remainder of the current CBA, which runs through the 2031 season.

In addition to keeping sixteen spots on the practice squad, the league has opted to continue the use of expanded eligibility for veteran players, as well as increased the number of times a player can be elevated from the practice squad to the active roster for a game from two to three times per regular season (no limitation on postseason elevations).

So, for those who wanted to see veterans continue to be eligible for practice squads, that will continue. Specifically, of the 16 players on the practice squad, each team may have up to ten players who have two or more accrued seasons in the NFL, with a maximum of six of those ten players have three or more accrued seasons.