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Tuesday, January 5, 2010
NFL rules on filling roster spot

By Mike Reiss

Now that the Patriots are in the playoffs, and Wes Welker won't be available, the question has come up: What can the team do with the roster spot?

Signing a free agent, if that is the direction the team wants to go, is an option.

According to the NFL's rulebook, "clubs participating in the playoffs are permitted to sign free agents throughout the postseason, but are limited to a total of four free agent signings, including players on other clubs' Practice Squads, during the period that begins at 4 p.m., New York time, on the Wednesday after the final regular season weekend."

Teams can not sign more than two such players during any week of the postseason.

The Patriots could also promote from within, elevating a member of their practice squad. The only receiver on the practice squad is Darnell Jenkins.