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NFL considering expanding practice squads

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The number could go as high as 16.

NFL: DEC 29 Browns at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL practice squads were already set to expand in 2020, but they could grow even bigger than anticipated.

Initially, the NFL’s new CBA was set to expand the previous 10-man practice squads to 12 this year. However, the NFL Network reports that it could be expanded to 16 players due to fears of COVID-19 affecting rosters.

The initial plan for the 2020 offseason was to expand practice squads from 10 to 12 players. Now, there is internal talk of rosters being expanded to as many as 16 players to allow for greater roster flexibility in the event of positive COVID-19 tests, NFL Network’s Judy Battista and Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation.

Batista and Garafolo added that the NFLPA would still have to co-sign the expansion. Should the move be approved, coaches, general managers and free agents will likely breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing there will be added opportunities to evaluate more talent as teams look to fill their rosters ahead of the 2020 season.

Having an extra six players ready to join the 53-man roster in the event of multiple players coming down with the virus would be a wise move for the NFL. Otherwise, if there’s an outbreak within the team, they may be forced to sign players off the street and activate them with little or no practice time.

This also means more players around the league would get chances to remain with NFL teams and keep their dreams of playing on Sunday alive.