2023 NFL Cutdown Day Details

The NFL Cutdown Day rules are different in 2023. Find out everything you need to know about how things will go down.

2023 NFL Cutdown Day Details

We are almost there! After what has seemed like the longest offseason of all time, the Detroit Lions are currently making their final preparations for their last preseason game of the year. That game, which will take place this coming Friday night, will be against the Carolina Panthers. Following that game, the Lions will then have until the following Tuesday to cut their roster down to 53 players.

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Everything You Need To Know

Here is everything you need to know about how the 2023 Detroit Lions Cutdown Day will work.

  • What: 2023 NFL Cutdown Day
  • When: Tuesday, August 29th (4 p.m. ET)
  • Goal: Establish a 53-man roster

What's New?

In the past, NFL teams were required to slowly trim their roster down to 53 players over the last couple of weeks of training camp. Now teams must go from 90 players on their roster all the way down to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Aug. 29th. Leaks will certainly come out leading up to the deadline, but teams will have to officially submit their final 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Aug. 29 . *Note: Teams are not required to wait

How many players are allowed on an NFL team in 2023?

During the offseason, teams can maintain a roster of 90 players. However, by August 29, this number needs to be trimmed down to 53, which remains consistent throughout the season.

Although the roster consists of 53 players, only 48 of them can be active on game day.

Beyond the 53-man active roster, every team has the provision to include as many as 16 players on their regular season practice squad.

What Will Happen?

Though it has been dubbed “Cutdown Day”, NFL teams, including our Detroit Lions, have multiple ways to remove a player from their roster prior to the deadline. Those ways are as follows:

  • Cut/Released: A veteran player who has completed at least four years in the NFL is termed as “released.” These players immediately become unrestricted free agents and they may sign with any team. (Detroit Lions example: Christian Covington, who is going into his 9th year)
  • Cut/Waived: In contrast, a player who hasn't reached the status of a vested veteran (less than four years) is “waived” and directed to the NFL's waiver system. These players are placed on waivers and if they are claimed, they go to whichever team claimed them. If they go unclaimed, they become an unrestricted free agent. (Detroit Lions Example: Jermar Jefferson, who is going into his 3rd year)
  • PUP/NFI: Players listed under the “physically unable to perform” (PUP) or “non-football injury” (NFI) categories are excluded from the 53-man roster count. These injured individuals must sit out the initial four matches of the season. (Detroit Lions Examples: Hendon Hooker (NFI) and Cameron Sutton (PUP).

Note: NFL teams have the option to place injured players on the injured reserve (IR). But, for a player to be put on IR, he first needs to be part of the team's primary 53-man roster. If a player is moved to IR without being on the 53-man roster initially, he can't be activated again during the same year.

Brad Holmes Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. 2023 NFL Cutdown Day: The Detroit Lions, like other NFL teams, need to establish their 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on August 29th. Previously, the cutdown was gradual, but now, teams go from 90 players directly to 53 by the specified date.
  2. Roster Breakdown for 2023: Throughout the offseason, NFL teams can hold up to 90 players on their roster. By August 29th, this roster must be reduced to 53 players, with only 48 being active on game days. Additionally, there's an allowance for 16 players on the regular season practice squad.
  3. Player Roster Adjustments: Teams have several ways to adjust their rosters. Veterans (with at least four years in the NFL) can be “released,” instantly becoming unrestricted free agents. Non-veterans are “waived” and subjected to the waiver system. Players can also be categorized under “PUP” or “NFI,” exempting them from the 53-man roster and necessitating them to miss the season's first four games.

Bottom Line: Cutdown Day Is Coming!

The 2023 NFL Cutdown Day represents a critical period for teams like the Detroit Lions, shaping their roster for the forthcoming season. While the challenge of selecting the right mix of veterans and upcoming talent remains, the newly introduced protocols necessitate strategic planning and timely decision-making for teams to optimize their squad composition effectively.


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