Wide receiver John Brown is making his first appearance on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' weekly list of protected practice squad players.
Brown, who was just signed to the Buccaneers' practice squad last Thursday, joins running back Kenjon Barner, kicker Jose Borregales and tight end Codey McElroy on that list as the team used all four of its protection options for the Divisional Round week of the playoffs. Tampa Bay plays the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium as the playoffs progress to the second round.
Brown began his career as a third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 when Bruce Arians was the team's head coach. He played four seasons under Arians, catching 173 passes for 2,515 yards and 17 touchdowns. Brown has also played for the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, and he had two-game stints this year with the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Barner and McElroy were both elevated from the practice squad for the Wild Card meeting with Philadelphia last weekend, though both were eventually declared inactive for the game.
The Buccaneers have protected Borregales for every game since Week Two. The undrafted rookie out of Miami, who won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top collegiate kicker in 2020, gives the Buccaneers in-house insurance in case Ryan Succop suddenly become unavailable late in the week.
The option to protect a limited number of practice squad players from being signed away by other teams was one of a number of new rules adopted regarding the practice squad in 2020 to give teams more roster flexibility during the pandemic. The NFL elected to keep those rules in place for 2021.
Each week, a team can submit a list of up to four players on its practice squad that other teams are prohibited from signing to their active rosters. In most weeks, that protection starts at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday and extends through game day. No players are protected for a period of almost two days following a game, so every practice squad player in the league still has an opportunity each week to sign with another team's active roster.