Yesterday, the “final,” 53-man roster cuts for all 32 NFL teams were announced, with over one thousand players potentially seeing the end of their professional football dreams. For some, that fear will be short-lived, being claimed off of the waiver wire and potentially signed to another team’s roster. Others, sadly, will go unclaimed, failing to make a big enough impact during the preseason to justify a place on an NFL others. However, there is one final hope; the practice squad.
Any player added to a practice squad must be cut first, giving other teams the opportunity to sign them to their roster. Those eligible for the practice squad are players who have no accrued seasons in the NFL, or who were active for fewer than nine games during their only accrued season(s). For the St. Louis Rams, and every other team in the league, there are eight available spots on the squad.
Jim Thomas, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, unveiled the St .Louis Rams potential practice unit,
Rams practice squad taking shape: CB Darren Woodard, WR Justin Veltung, S Cody Davis, FB Eric Stevens, DE/LB Sammy Brown. . . .
— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) September 1, 2013
Thomas also listed OL Sean Hooey, and expressed that each of them were expected to signed at some point today with the team. Included on the practice squad are a handful of players that some had projected to make the 53-man roster. Justin Veltung, a mid-preseason pickup from ‘Hawks Camp, was slotted as the “favorite” for the sixth wide receiver spot on the team. Veltung also took most of the “backup” punt return snaps during the latter half of the preseason, and figured to be a hallmark on special teams. Safety, Cody Davis, also figured to be a strong candidate for the 53-man roster, but failed to make the cut after the St. Louis Rams surprisingly kept veteran defensive back, Matt Giordano, on the roster, despite being sidelined for essentially all of training camp.
Currently, Thomas has listed only 6 players, meaning that there are two spots left open on the practice squad. Once players have “cleared” waiver, they are eligible to sign with any team that offers them a position. It is likely that Jeff Fisher and Les Snead are combing through those prospects as we speak.
Stay tuned to Ramblin’ Fan for more updates on the St. Louis Rams roster and practice squad.
UPDATE: Official St. Louis Rams Practice Squad includes: WR Emory Blake, DE Mason Brodine, DE/LB Sammy Brown, S Cody Davis, OL SeaN Hooey, WR Justin Veltung, CB Darren Woodard, and FB Eric Stevens