TWENTYMAN: Detroit Lions sign 10 familiar faces to practice squad roster

Posted Aug 31, 2014

The Lions signed 10 players to their initial practice squad roster.

With their initial 53-man roster set, the Detroit Lions went to work Sunday putting together their 10-man practice squad.

This season, the NFL expanded the practice squad from eight to 10 players and tweaked some of the eligibility requirements surrounding the practice squad. It now allows a much greater pool of talent to be included among the practice-squad players.

Teams are now permitted to carry up to two players on the practice squad with two accrued seasons of free agent credits,

“I think it’s a good thing,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of the expansion of the practice squad. “I think it gives more opportunities for guys.

“Oftentimes, you end up releasing players that you‘d like to keep around in your organization so this will give us a chance to keep a couple more and obviously it gives a little more flexibility in at least two of the ten than we’ve had previously, so that’s a good thing.”

The Lions’ 10-man practice squad has a lot of familiar faces on it. All 10 players were part of the team’s 22 cuts on Saturday.

Offensive tackle Michael Williams, guard Rodney Austin, running back George Winn, receiver Andrew Peacock, cornerback Mohammad Seisay, tight end Jordan Thompson, fullback Emil Igwenagu, linebacker Julian Stanford, safety Nate Ness and defensive tackle Xavier Proctor make up the Lions initial practice squad.

Williams was in close competition with Cornelius Lucas to make the 53-man roster. The tight end turned tackle has real promise and should continue to develop on the practice squad.
Winn is a power back and a good insurance policy should anything happen to Joique Bell. He rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason.

The Lions kept Austin on the practice squad in hopes he continues to develop as an interior linemen. He’s now essentially the fourth guard behind Larry Warford, Rob Sims and Travis Swanson.

Igwenagu was claimed off waivers just last week, but apparently showed enough promise in his short time on the roster that coaches would like to take a further look at him.

Peacock caught eight passes for 74 yards in the preseason and showed an ability to separate and get open. He had a good training camp in a crowded receiver corps.

The practice squad allows teams to hold onto developmental players with upside who aren't quite deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster just yet.

A player must have a minimum of six games – up from three games – on a practice squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of practice squad eligibility.

Practice squad players earn a minimum of $6,300 per week, which totals $107,100 for a 17-week stint.