The NFL practice squad system is a confusing notion for a lot of fans. Not many people fully understand the way the practice squad works, and that is partly because the guidelines for the practice squad change throughout the years. The Detroit Lions were allowed to sign 10 players to their practice squad, and the maximum amount of experience a player can have on the practice squad is 3 years. However, in order to count as a full year, a player must be present on the practice squad for at least six games.
Previous seasons, players would only have to play in 3 games for their entire season on the practice squad to count. Also, there were only 6 players that teams could sign to their practice squad. This makes it even harder to determine who would be eligible for the practice squad.
A lot of people try to claim that every free agent acquisition was made for the practice squad, but that is never the case. Coaches usually are not sure who is eligible for the practice squad until it comes down to crunch time, and then they worry about who will make the practice squad.
The following players have been signed to the 2014 Detroit Lions’ practice squad:
Michael Williams – Offensive tackle
Rodney Austin – Guard
George Winn – Running back
Andrew Peacock – Wide receiver
Mohammed Seisay – Cornerback
Jordan Thompson – Tight end
Emil Igwenagu – Full back
Julian Stanford – Linebacker
Nate Ness – Cornerback
Xavier Proctor – Defensive tackle
George Winn was an inevitable practice squad signing. He runs for the endzone every time his hands touch the ball, and that is exactly what teams need in a short distance back. The only blunder that George Winn made during the preseason was two fumbles, but the story of George Winn is more than a few fumbles. What happened after his fumbles was remarkable. George Winn had the ability both times to come back in the game and run even harder. That is exactly how the coaches wanted to see Winn react to giving up the football.
Mohammed Seisay is another name that the Lions are extremely pleased to be able to keep around the organization. He is a very big cornerback, and played okay during the preseason. Chris Greenwood got cut outright, and it has a lot to do with the play of Seisay, and the other Detroit practice squad cornerback, Nate Ness. Both of the young corners created big plays in the preseason, and they will both be a better option at cornerback than Chris Greenwood if the Lions secondary can’t stay healthy.
Emil Igwenagu is the big surprise on the Lions’ practice squad. He was signed as a tight end off of waivers, but the Detroit coaching staff quickly put him to work in the backfield as a run blocker. Igwenagu showed enough promise that the Lions felt that they should keep him around, and continue to develop him at fullback. The Detroit Lions currently have two fullbacks on their 53-man roster, but they could end up releasing one of them to make room for a waiver addition. If that is the case, Igwenagu is a lot closer to seeing action than a lot of people initially thought.