Heading into the 2020 season rosters are set. Both the 53 man roster and newly expanded 16 man practice squad have been filled. With six additional spots on the practice squad and the COVID-19 pandemic, this seasons practice squad holds new value.
In years past the practice squad has been 10 men and then some teams could have an additional player from the international ranks as an 11th man. This season the practice squad is set to expand by six roster spots and be 16 men deep. Because of the pandemic these 16 players will hold additional value whether they make it to the 53 man roster or not. Here are the 16 players who have reportedly signed onto the practice squad.
- QB Tyler Huntley
- RB Ty’Shon Williams
- WR Jaylon Moore
- TE Jerell Adams
- TE Eli Wolf
- OL Will Holden
- OL Trysten Colon-Castillo
- DT Aaron Crawford
- OLB Aaron Adeoye
- OLB Chauncey Rivers
- ILB Kristian Welch
- CB Terrell Bonds
- CB Khalil Dorsey
- S Jordan Richards
- S Nigel Warrior
- LS Nick Moore
These 16 men will be practicing with the team and two can be designated to suit up each week, if needed. Many of the players here will be very valuable to this seasons team. With no training camp this season, teams are going to need to start off strong to build momentum. Last season the Ravens were among the best in the league in the first half of games. That is because they prepare the right way at practice. The old saying, “you practice how you play” will be shown this season.
Teams took different approaches to the practice squad this season. The Philadelphia Eagles signed 41 year old quarterback, Josh McCown, to their practice squad as an emergency player. The Dallas Cowboys signed former Cowboy and more recently Ravens DB Brandon Carr to theirs. These moves are new as these two players are the oldest players ever signed to a practice squad.
McCown could play if injuries occur and Carr could be on the practice squad just until he is prepared to return to the field for the Cowboys. Either way, the Ravens also added some veterans; just not as experienced. Players with experience like Jerrell Adams, Will Holden, and Jordan Richards are all players with regular season experience who could play in a pinch.
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Throughout the practice squad is a variety of skills and talent. quarterback, Tyler Huntley, made the practice squad after many thought he could be the third quarterback before Trace McSorely beat him out. Huntley is a dual threat and has a relationship with Lamar Jackson from high school. He will be a good extra arm to have in practice to help give Jackson time off the field.
Skill position players Jaylon Moore and Ty’Shon Williams both turned in good camps and can be players that could have a chance at the roster in the future. Both players are explosive and can make big plays. Tight ends Adams and Eli Wolf have both been with the team and provide depth behind the two deep group of Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle at tight end, with Patrick Ricard covering as the third tight end. These two will be extra valuable especially if an injury occurs or the Ravens can’t find success with just two tight ends. Wolf was showing an ability to catch the ball in camp and Adams has regular season experience that could be very valuable.
On the offensive line they will have 11 players total in practice. Will Holden making the practice squad is essential, making him the only natural offensive tackle on the roster behind the starters. Having Colon-Castillo, who impressed many in camp will help making sure snaps are good and the line has enough depth. Up front on defense the team kept big Aaron Crawford as an additional defensive lineman. Along with Crawford, the team added pass rushers Aaron Adeoye and Chauncey Rivers.
Crawford is a big interior lineman who one day could be a member of the rotation, Adeoye is a long pass rusher and Rivers is an edge defender who can play on the outside and the inside. Each of these players have diverse skill-sets and could come up if the team needs front seven support.
At inside linebacker, Kristian Welch made the team as the sixth total inside linebacker. Welch is a hard hitter that can play speical teams and run sideline to sideline. He can become a very valuable depth piece down the line and push L.J Fort and company to provide good depth for the new rookie duo of Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.
At cornerback the team added two additional players bringing their total to seven and two safeties bringing the total defensive backs on the roster to 13. Richards, played with the team last year and is a special teams ace. Warrior made a lot of plays on the back end during training camp and both can come up and provide additional support post-Earl Thomas. Bonds and Dorsey are both smaller, quicker corners that have made the occasional splash play. Bonds had a lot of big time plays in the AAF and could provide good support if needed.
To round out the list long snapper Nick Moore is on the practice squad. In no means does this mean Morgan Cox’s roster spot is in jeopardy. “The Wolf Pack” will be united for this season, barring injury. Moore is interesting because he will only be needed if Cox goes down. But, his inclusion may be the most valuable. With no preseason getting tuned up will be hard for special teams specialists like Justin Tucker and Sam Koch. Having two long snappers will help give both of those guys additional practice time and keep them ready for Sundays.
The bottom line:
Although the practice squad is not always the most interesting topic, this year they may be highly essential. The Ravens have formed a versatile practice squad that will be able to cover the rosters holes in practice and may be able to make an impact barring issues.
Although these players may not be the focus point on Sundays look for the back end of the roster to make or break this season and many of these players might be involved.