NFL, NFLPA’s CBA Features New Roster Rules For 2020
After eight excruciating months of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks and COVID-19 protocols implementation, the 2020 NFL season is finally about to begin. The upcoming season features new roster rules for expanded rosters, practice squad, and injured reserve.
Starting this season, active rosters every game day can include 48 players, an upgraded roster lineup from the original 46 players per team. The team must follow the condition that at least eight of those players are offensive linemen. Failure to complete the number of offensive linemen will downgrade the limit to 47 players. Additionally, a team can feature up to 55 players on its roster every week. The original limit is 53.
Expanded practice squads
The new CBA allowed teams to expand the size of practice squads from 10 players per team to 12 for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. For the 2022 season, teams are allowed to expand up to 14 players. If any COVID-19 protocols remain in place for next year, practice squads can include 16 players per team featuring 6 active players with more than two accrued seasons in the NFL.
Players on reserve/COVID-19 list
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell already released strict COVID-19 protocols prior to the completion of the CBA.
“These plans have been guided by the medical directors of the NFL and the NFLPA and have been reviewed and endorsed by independent medical and public health experts, including the CDC, and many state and local public health officials. The season will undoubtedly present new and additional challenges, but we are committed to playing a safe and complete 2020 season, culminating with the Super Bowl,” Goodell said in an interview.
For this, the NFL has launched a 2020 reserve/COVID-19 list for players who tested positive for the virus or was exposed to someone who tested positive. If part of this list, the team can replace that player during the week and accomplish any of the following moves: sign a free agent, sign a player from their own or another team’s practice squad, or elevate a player from its own practice squad.
For the 2020 season, a player going on injured reserve is allowed to return after taking a break for only three weeks. Teams may return an unlimited number of players listed as injured for the whole year.