The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have submitted their list of practice squad players to protect in Week 10, and it's the same three as Week Nine: kicker Greg Joseph, defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter and guard John Molchon.
Each team in the NFL is allowed up to four practice squad protections per week but the Buccaneers last used all our options in Week Five. The four weekly protection options take effect at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and protected players can not be signed away by another team from then through the day of the upcoming game. Unprotected players are always free to sign with another team if the new team is adding them to the 53-man active roster.
Joseph has been protected every week as the Buccaneers, like many teams, are protecting against the possibility of their active kicker becoming unavailable late in the week. Given the COVID protocol that must be followed when bringing a new player into the team facility, it would be difficult if not impossible to sign an outside kicker in time to play on Sunday or Monday.
The Bucs have now protected Ledbetter five weeks in a row, and he was also elevated on game day in Week Six, playing 24 snaps in the win over Green Bay. Molchon has been protected both weeks since he came off injured reserve and was waived and then signed to the practice squad.
The practice squad protection rule was put in place over the summer as the CBA was revised to give teams greater roster flexibility amid the pandemic. All practice squad players still have opportunities to get promoted by other teams between when their team's game is played and the next Tuesday deadline.