The NFL is rolling out new roster rules for the 2020 season — some due to changes in the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players union, and others in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One change that fans will pick up on right away is expanded roster sizes. Teams are now allowed to call up two players from their 16-man practice squads for game days, which the New Orleans Saints did right away in promoting defensive lineman Margus Hunt and wide receiver Bennie Fowler Jr. Teams may call up any member of their practice squad twice each season before they must be signed to the active roster.
It means that the Saints have 54 players at their disposal for Week 1’s game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (rookie punter Blake Gillikin initially made the active roster, but was lost to injured reserve, and the Saints haven’t replaced him yet). But just 47 or 48 of those players may suit up for this game, up from 46 in years past.
If the Saints dress eight offensive linemen, they will be allowed to carry the 48 maximum players. That’s likely considering rookie guard/center Cesar Ruiz was ruled out with an ankle injury, meaning the Saints will run a starting lineup of Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, fill-in backup Nick Easton, and Ryan Ramczyk, with reserves Will Clapp, Ethan Greenidge, and Derrick Kelly standing by. It’s a rule the Saints would be smart to take advantage of.
So with all that said: here are the players eligible to take the field against the Buccaneers today. We’ll know for sure when the Saints announce their inactives list later this afternoon.