We last saw Connor Shaw limping off the field at the end of Thursday’s preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns, and it would have been natural if you felt that was the last time he would be with the Chicago Bears.
But that doesn’t seem like that will be the case. Chris Emma of CBS Chicago/WSCR 670-AM reports Shaw will return to the Bears and be placed on injured reserve. This move could would place the South Carolina product on the team’s practice squad. Shaw didn’t see much time in the preseason, as practice reps and game snaps were more of a priority for Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky.
And while we have a minute, let’s talk about the practice squad’s purpose.
In addition to having a 53-man roster, each of the NFL’s 32 teams can keep up to 10 players who didn’t make the team’s 53-man roster. Practice squads allow for fringe players who didn’t make the cut to have a spot, injured players to receive some time to heal up, and players who come as undrafted free agents or late-round picks get a chance to receive some extra development. This collection of players are paid a minimum of $7,200 per week and is primarily made up of younger talent who have accrued no more than two years of NFL experience. However, a rule change in 2016 now allows four players with more than two years experience to join practice squads. Players can stay on a practice squad for up to three years.
Practice squad players can’t play in regular season games until they are removed and placed on the team’s 53-man roster. These players are basically free agents who can be signed to a 53-man roster at any time. The only exception is a team can’t sign a player off its next opponent’s practice squad less than six days before its head-to-head matchup.
It’s quite common to see other teams poach players off other practice squads, but it is also a common occurrence to see teams sign players from their own squads to prevent another team from picking up a player they want to keep in house.
Wide receiver Tanner Gentry cleared waivers and was expected to sign to the Bears’ practice squad. We’ll keep an updated list of players who will join him below:
- OL Cameron Lee
- S DeAndre Houston-Carson
- DL Rashaad Coward
- OL Dieugot Joseph
- OL Brandon Greene
- LB Jonathan Anderson
- LB Isaiah Irving
- LB John Timu