Ravens announce four protected practice squad players for Week 1

Last week Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said that he views practice squad players for the 2020 season as members of the active roster under the league’s augmented rules for this season alone due to COVID-19 and that it is more important than ever that they stay ready because they can be called up at any time.

He’s absolutely right because some of the biggest rule changes for practice squads this year include changes such as an expanded number of players on each squad from the typical 10 to 16 and two players can be promoted and demoted from the squad without being subjected to waivers

Another rule is that every team can designate four players each week that they can protect from being signed to another team’s active roster. Those players won’t be free to sign with another team’s active roster until all of the week’s games have been played.

On Monday the Ravens announced the four players that they will be protecting from being poached ahead of Sunday’s season opener against the Cleveland Browns in Week One. Surprisingly the group does not include one of the two tight ends on the squad but it does include a pair of offensive linemen.

The full list of four, like the entire practice squad, consists of offensive guard/tackle Will Holden, center Tyrstan Colon-Castillo, outside linebacker Aaron Adeoye and long snapper Nick Moore. Both Holden and Colon-Castillo are prime candidates to get promoted to the active roster if starting center Matt Skura isn’t quite ready to go and they want a more experienced swing tackle for the season opener over third-round rookie Tyre Phillips who is currently slated as the primary back up at both offensive tackle spots.

In addition to not including undrafted rookie tight end Eli Wolf who they like a lot, it is a little surprising that the Ravens chose not to protect one of their other coveted undrafted rookie free agents like safety Nigel Warrior or inside linebacker Kristian Welch.

Opting to protect Moore, a reserve specialist, over one of those players or even on one of the veteran members of their practice squad may mean that there is a little uncertainty around starting long snapper Morgan Cox’s availability for Week One or at least they are just giving him some rest in practice this week.

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