Wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Darren Fells both played against Washington last Sunday just four days after being signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad. The Buccaneers are making sure they are available to do so again next Monday night, if needed.
Tampa Bay used all four of its practice squad protection options again in Week 11, this time including Perriman and Fells on the list. The two veteran pass-catchers both joined the team last week after the protection list had already been submitted on Tuesday. The other two protected spots went to kicker Jose Borregales and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
Neither Perriman (two snaps) nor Fells (one) saw very much action in the Buccaneers' Week 10 loss to the Football Team, but they were elevated from the practice squad and kept active due to injury concerns at their positions. The Bucs' offense was still without injured standouts Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Chris Godwin was considered questionable for the game with a foot injury. Wide receiver Scotty Miller has returned to practice but has not yet been activated from injured reserve.
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 a normal week with a Sunday game, that protection starts at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday and extends through game day. No players are protected on Monday or on Tuesday before the deadline, so every practice squad player will still have opportunities to sign elsewhere, even with the protection options.
The protection of Wreh-Wilson is also likely motivated by injury issues, as the Buccaneers' season-long misfortune at the cornerback position continued on Sunday. Just back from a hamstring ailment, cornerback Richard Sherman suffered a calf injury prior to the game and is not expected to be back in action anytime soon. Later in the game, cornerback Dee Delaney suffered a concussion.