All NFL rosters had to be cut to 53 players by Tuesday, August 30. These cuts always hurt and put good players out of a job, even temporarily. NFL teams try to fill up their practice squad with players familiar to the team and target these cut players. In recent history, issues with injuries and virus protocol have meant teams are relying on practice squad players more than normal. The Saints have made 15 signings so far, according to Nick Underhill. These are the 2022 New Orleans Saints practice squad signees.
Saints practice squad for the 2022 NFL season
The NFL allows teams to keep 16 players on the practice squad. This number was just 10 players a couple of years ago, but pandemic issues led to an increase for all teams. Any two players on the practice squad can be elevated to the main roster for game days, up to a maximum of three times per year. If called up more, the player has to remain on the active roster or be released. Luckily for the Saints, the team was able to sign many of the players they had to cut when rosters were slimmed down to 53 players.
Offensive players signed to the practice squad
- Dai’Jean Dixon, Wide Receiver
- Josh Andrews, Offensive Lineman
- JP Holtz, Tight End
- Kirk Merritt, Wide Receiver
- Lucas Krull, Tight End
- Nick Martin, Center
- Rashi Shaheed, Wide Receiver
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Veterans who can play in case of injury
Projects who can develop
The most curious part of the offensive practice squad is the lack of running back. This could indicate that the team believes Alvin Kamara will not face disciplinary action from the NFL this season. Also, the team is suddenly deep at wide receiver, but Dai’Jean Dixon and Kirk Merritt are good project players. Both players are from the New Orleans area so should be comfortable on the team. Dixon brings good size to the position with his 6’3 height. Merritt has appeared in just three games in his short NFL career. Keeping multiple tight ends and offensive lineman should come as no surprise though. The Saints have excelled for years at stashing good blockers to play near the ball.
Defensive players signed to the practice squad
- Chase Hansen, Linebacker
- Christian Ringo, Defensive Tackle
- DaMarcus Fields, Defensive Back
- Eric Wilson, Linebacker
- Jordan Jackson, Defensive Tackle
- Nephi Sewell, Linebacker
- Taco Charlton, Defensive End
- Vincent Gray, Defensive Back
The defense is mostly setup to supply the team with players in the front seven. Six of the eight signees are linebackers or on the defensive line. The Saints defensive line and secondary are thought to be strengths on the team but having depth should help the team remain healthy as the year moves forward. Linebacker is the biggest question mark on the team though. It is possible that players like Chase Hanson and Eric Wilson could be brought up to the active roster quickly as the roster continues to change. Hanson appeared in three games last season for the Saints. Wilson appeared in 14 total games for the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. Both could see immediate playing time if called up.
Saints practice squad likely not finalized
The Saints do not look to be done with the moves. There is still one more spot open on the practice squad and the team is still rearranging the roster in various ways. The team renegotiated tight end Nick Vannett’s contract possibly indicating a release is coming. Dwayne Washington was also released from the roster. The practice squad is subject to change as every team adds and releases players. The Saints practice squad is shaping up to be a good mix of project players and veterans waiting for an opportunity as the NFL season readies to begin.