The Pittsburgh Steelers might have released 31 players without an injury designation on Saturday, but it appears that was not the end of their journey with the Black and Gold for 11 of them. The team officially announced their practice squad on Sunday and all of the players re-signed were with the team during training camp this year.
While most NFL teams are only allowed 10 players on their practice squad as per league rules, Pittsburgh is one of four clubs allowed to carry 11 this season, as long as one of them is tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson. Allocated to the Steelers as part of the International Pathway Program, Pittsburgh will receive an exemption for him in 2018.
Perhaps one of the more surprising omission is seventh-round draft pick Joshua Frazier, a player that many outsiders thought would at least make the practice squad. Wide receiver and kick returner Quadree Henderson was another name many expected to see re-signed on Sunday, but it is Trey Griffey who gets the nod over him instead.
All players will earn a minimum of $7600 a week this season and there is no maximum the Steelers can pay a practice squad player, but the cost of the group must be included in their salary cap calculations.
These players will be full participants in all team meetings and practice sessions, but they cannot dress on game day unless they’re promoted to the active roster. A player can be promoted at any time during the week, but a name on the 53-man roster must be released or added to injured reserve to create a spot for the incoming player.
If a player is promoted to the active roster, he must receive a minimum of three game checks, even if he’s released before having spent three weeks on the 53-man roster. A released player must then clear waivers before he can be re-signed to the practice squad.
Any team in the league can opt to sign a player from the Steelers’ practice squad at any pint in the season without compensation, but that player must be added to their active roster. The only restrictions involve upcoming opponent and, in this case, the player must be signed at least six days before such a matchup or 10 days in advance if Pittsburgh is on a bye-week.