Lions announce practice squad

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The Detroit Lions filled out their practice squad today, signing the maximum 10 players. Here is the list:

  • OLB Thurston Armbrister
  • CB Adairius Barnes
  • WR Jace Billingsley
  • WR Dontez Ford
  • C Leo Koloamatangi
  • DE Derrick Lott
  • FS Rolan Milligan
  • T Storm Norton
  • DE Pat O’Connor
  • TE Cole Wick

Not quite sure what the practice squad is? Essentially it is a group of players that can practice with your team but are not under NFL contract. They earn a weekly salary of at least $7,200 but can be paid any amount the team wants. Some higher-demand practice squad players have been known to negotiate better weekly salaries.

You can bring a player up from the practice squad by signing him to an actual NFL contract and making room on your 53-man roster. A lot of teams use the practice squad as injury/ poor production protection. If a guy goes on injured reserve, or they decide to cut a player because he isn’t living up to expectations, they already have a replacement that is familiar with their playbook and his teammates.

Since the players are not under contract, they can be signed away by any other team willing to add them to their 53-man roster.  The only caveat is that you cannot sign a player from the practice squad of your next opponent unless it is more than five days prior to the game. That is to prevent them from having specific knowledge of the game plan.

These 10 players will practice with the Lions this week and help the team prepare for the season opener Sunday at Ford Field against the Arizona Cardinals.