Once again, the Buffalo Bills have only protected three practice squad players for Week 8. They have the option to protect up to four players from signing with another team’s active roster between Tuesday and the end of the game that weekend. The rule is in response to COVID-19, to make sure teams have at least 57 players to choose from on game day.
This is the sixth week in a row the team decided to only use three instead of four protections. It doesn’t cost them anything to protect a player, and by leaving a spot open, maybe they can protect a player later in the week. It’s a curious move, but they certainly aren’t alone around the league.
This week it is once again OL Jamil Douglas, CB Cam Lewis, and DB Josh Thomas. They are three of the most pro-ready players on the practice squad, but with an injury to tight end Dawson Knox and a very thin group at the position, it’s at least mildly surprising that neither Quintin Morris nor Kahale Warring are on the list.
Lewis was called up to the active roster for the first time this season in Week 4 as a result of Taron Johnson’s injury, and got the start as the team’s slot cornerback. He gets one more free call-up before the Bills would need to sign him to the active roster for real.
With fully vaccinated players able to come in and play on a day’s notice, the practice squad protections have lost some of their luster from a year ago, when players would take almost a full week from entry into the league’s protocols to being able to play in a game.