It has been a busy half-week of transactions for John Molchon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie guard out of Boise State.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers elected to use one of their practice-squad protection options on Molchon, adding him to a list that includes the same two protected players from Weeks Seven and Eight, kicker Greg Joseph and defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter.
Molchon spent the first seven weeks of the season on injured reserve due to a knee injury sustained late in training camp. On Friday, the Buccaneers activated him from that list, putting him on the active roster. On Saturday, Tampa Bay then waived Molchon to open a spot for tight end Antony Auclair, who was also activated from injured reserve. On Tuesday, following their Monday night win over the Giants, the Buccaneers re-signed Molchon to their practice squad after he had cleared waivers.
Each team is allowed up to four practice squad protections per week but the previous two weeks had seen the Buccaneers only use two of those spots. Joseph has been on the team's protection list each week this season, a nod to how difficult it would be to replace the kicker on the active roster if he became unavailable to play late in the week. Many teams are carrying a second kicker on their expanded 16-man practice squads this season so they already have a replacement in the building and through COVID protocol.
Ledbetter has been on the protection list each of the last four weeks. In Week Six, he was also elevated to the active roster on game day and ended up with 24 defensive snaps in the win over Green Bay. Protected players do not have to be elevated for the game, and the Buccaneers have not used either of their two elevation options for the past two games.
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.
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.