- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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Another piece of the roster puzzle will gain clarity Sunday at noon ET, when teams can begin the process of signing players to their eight-man practice squad. More often than not, those players will come from the most recent list of cuts the team made to whittle down to an initial 53-man roster.
Players must first clear waivers before they can be added to the practice squad and players who are already free agents are also eligible.
To meet the criteria to land on a practice squad, players cannot have appeared in more than eight regular-season games in any one season and cannot have been on a practice squad for more than three seasons (three weeks equals a season until the third season when one week counts). If a player who has spent two seasons on the practice squad signs, the team must maintain a full 53-man roster for each game he is on the practice squad.
The practice squad generally serves as the scout team players who provide different looks for the offense and defense throughout the week. Whenever you hear about a player emulating an opponent, it's more often than not someone from the practice squad. For example, Rams DE/LB Sammy Brown was a member of the practice squad last year and went so far as to wear a blonde wig to put on the appearance of Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews.
Many of the guys who play on the practice squad never make the active roster but in St. Louis, that's not necessarily the case. Tight end Cory Harkey, Brown and center Tim Barnes got the call to the active roster in 2012. This year, running back Chase Reynolds and offensive lineman Brandon Washington made the active roster in the initial cut to 53.
Here's a quick rundown of the players eligible for the Rams practice squad from the most recent list of cuts:
QB Austin Davis
FB Eric Stevens
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
OT D.J. Young
OT Ty Nsekhe
OT Sean Hooey
WR Nick Johnson
WR Justin Veltung
WR Emory Blake
DL Garrett Goebel
DL Sammy Brown
DL R.J. Washington
S Rashard Hall
S Cody Davis
CB Drew Thomas
CB Darren Woodard
CB Andre Martin
Players released in the first round of cuts are also eligible to land on the practice squad.
Since we've been in prediction mode lately, here's a quick guess (emphasis on guess) at the Rams' eight-man practice squad: QB A. Davis, WRs Veltung and Johnson, OT Hooey, OT Nsekhe, DL Brodine, CB Woodard, S C. Davis.