One perk NFL teams have with their expanded 16-man practice squads is that they get to protect four players from being signed onto another team’s active roster.
The four Bengals players that will be protected during Week 1 are WR Stanley Morgan, TE Mason Schreck, DL Amani Bledsoe, and S Trayvon Henderson.
The four Bengals Week 1 practice squad protections, per the wire -- DL Amani Bledsoe, S Trayvon Henderson, WR Stanley Morgan and TE Mason Schreck.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 8, 2020
Interestingly enough, all four players had decent chances of making the initial 53-man roster. Morgan and Schreck were both on the active roster last year and Henderson has been with the team in some capacity since 2018. Bledsoe was signed as a free agent during camp and was getting plenty of reps along a battered defensive line.
This may tell us who will be active for Sunday’s season opener. With Henderson protected and Shawn Williams still not practicing, perhaps the team doesn’t think Williams will be able to play. The Bengals can also elevate Henderson to the active roster on Sunday per the new rules if they feel compelled to do so.
As the season progresses, it’ll be interesting to see if QB Brandon Allen ever gets protected. Since Allen’s services obviously aren’t in high demand, it’s no surprise he wasn’t protected this week. But the Bengals would be wise to always have three quarterbacks on the entire team.