The next week is going to be critical for the more than 20 Long Beach football players hoping to make an NFL roster.
Currently teams can hold as many as 90 players, but on Saturday, Sept. 1, by 1 p.m. west coast time, that number will drop to the regular season-sized roster of 53 players. Prior to this year, NFL teams had a mid-way cutdown from 90 to 75 players, but the NFL owners changed that rule earlier this summer.
That’s a good thing for roster longshots, as it gives them an extra couple of weeks to try to make a good impression. It also introduces a major element of chaos this Saturday as potentially up to 1,184 players could be cut simultaneously. That could lead to rapid roster reshuffles in the week between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season the following week.
Beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2 teams can begin signing players for their practice squad, which has been a great option for many local players. The practice squad still pays players a good wage and keeps them in the NFL phone book–players like Jordan’s John Timu and Lakewood’s Darius Powe have gone from p-squadding one day to the full NFL 53-man roster the next.
Plenty of guys have made good impressions or are sitting on more or less guaranteed spots already, but for those who haven’t, this Thursday offers the final shot to grab a spot on the 53-man roster or a practice squad, as those will be the final preseason games for the entire league.
Long Beach Poly
In: Jurrell Casey (Titans), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers), Marcedes Lewis (Packers), Jayon Brown (Titans), DeSean Jackson (Buccaneers), Jamize Olawale (Cowboys)
Bubble: Kaelin Clay (Bills), JoJo Wicker (Redskins)
Unsigned: Gerard Wicks, Hayden Hunt, Randall Goforth
In: Joel Bitonio (Browns)
In: John Ross (Bengals), John Timu (Bears)
Bubble: Datone Jones
In: Matt Pryor (Eagles)
Bubble: Josh Fatu (Lions), Jeremy McNichols (49ers)
Unsigned: Darius Powe
In: Alden Darby (Toronto Argonauts, CFL)
Bubble: Josh Fatu (Lions), Matt Boesen (Bills)
Unsigned: Bryan Braman, DeQuan Hampton
Unsigned: Darreus Rogers