Once again, the Buffalo Bills have only protected three practice squad players for Week 4. 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 third 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, so it’s a curious move.
This week it is once again OL Jamil Douglas, CB Cam Lewis, and DB Josh Thomas. With only five cornerbacks on the 53-man roster and four safeties, it makes sense that they would protect themselves from a potential problem on the back end of the defense. Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson were both a bit banged up heading into Week 3, as well. It’s a bit weird that neither of the team’s two tight ends were protected, given that only two tight ends plus Reggie Gilliam are on the active roster.
The Bills host the Houston Texans this weekend. 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.