An NFL practice squad is an odd construct. The broad strokes of it are as follows:
- Not just any player can be on a practice squad
- A player only has a limited tenure to be on a practice squad
- There can be up to eight players on a practice squad
- Practice-squad players can practice (duh), they but cannot play in games, unless they are promoted to the active roster.
- A team can’t sign another team’s practice-squad players, unless it is signing them to its active roster.
The philosophy behind the practice squad is to stash away some talented youngsters whom a team thinks could either help it during the season this season if there is an injury or need down the road.
Looking specifically at the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are a multitude of names currently on the roster who would make excellent candidates to hide away on the practice squad. Let’s take a closer look at several bubble guys for which training camp will be vital for their futures.
Keep this in mind when reading this list, however. Some young players are omitted because I am confident they will make the team. Players such as Vanderbilt tackle Wesley Johnson and Stanford defensive end Josh Mauro are among those who aren’t good candidates for the practice squad, because this team needs them on its active roster now.