With the start of the 2017 league year, the NFL altered its traditional format for trimming down rosters from 90 to 53 players.
The old format was as follows:
- 90-man roster for preseason weeks 1-3
- Trim roster from 90 to 75
- Participate in week 4 of the preseason
- Trim roster from 75 to 53
The new format is as follows:
- 90-man roster for the entire preseason
- Trim roster from 90 to 53 after week 4
This all seems just fine. After all, carrying 90 players into the final week of the preseason certainly is easier than carrying only 75, given that the majority of starters won’t even dress for the game.
But despite these changed rules, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to use a more traditional approach as they prepare for the final week of the preseason.
The Steelers reported to work but did not practice Sunday and it could be the final visit for some of them. The NFL changed a rule for this year, turning two separate mandatory cutdown dates to just one. Rosters must be culled from 90 to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m.
However, the Steelers plan to make some cuts early this week, before they leave for their Thursday night preseason finale at the Carolina Panthers.
“We don’t have to carry 90 into the last game,” general manager Kevin Colbert said during training camp. “We can still make the cut as we have in the past. My guess is we probably won’t carry 90 into the last game. I think we’ll look at that depending on the health of the team going into the final game and how many guys we have available for the Carolina game.”
That being said, you can expect a round of cuts to occur sometime this week before the team departs for North Carolina. How many and who will get the axe have yet to be determined, but the team will judiciously trim the roster sometime this week.