September 2, 2012

Saints Name First Practice Squad

The Saints have named the members of their opening practice squad for the season, a list that is fluid and will change from week to week, if not day to day, during the regular season.

Returning familiar names are Saints undrafted rookie signings DE Braylon Broughton, S Jerico Nelson, and CB Nick Hixson.  Former Saints practice squadders added this year are LB Ezra Butler and WR Andy Tanner, plus former 53-man roster member TE Michael Higgins.

Tanner was especially impressive in the preseason for the Saints before an ankle injury.  Higgins too was productive in preseason and both were considered "bubble" players with chances of making the roster.

New names on the roster are offensive guards Ricky Henry, a former Bears practice squad member, and undrafted rookie Harland Gunn (Miami FL).

Notably, there is no quarterback on the opening practice squad list, though this is likely to change at any time.

According to the CBA, players are eligible for the practice squad if they have been activated for fewer than nine regular season games. Being on a team's 53-man roster but inactive on game days would not count against practice squad eligibility.  Teams may have at most eight players on their practice squad, plus one additional international player should a team choose.  Additionally, a player may not have served more than three games in any two previous seasons on a practice squad.

Practice squad players in 2012 will make $5,700 per week.

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