Joe Bachie and Raequan Williams land on the Saints’ and Eagles’ practice squad


Joe Bachie/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Football Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING- Less than 24 hours after being released, both Joe Bachie and Raequan Williams are back with the teams that initially cut them. Bachie was placed on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad while Williams earned a practice squad spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. With Bachie and Williams both back with their original clubs, three Spartans from the 2019 football team are currently on either an active roster or a practice squad. Josiah Scott, the No. 137 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, made the final 53-man roster with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kenny Willekes is currently nursing an ankle injury on the Minnesota Vikings IR.

Cody White, Brian Lewerke, Mike Panasiuk, and Darrell Stewart Jr. are all currently free agents at the time of this writing.  All four players were released yesterday as teams reduced their active rosters to 53 players.  Teams were permitted to begin signing practice squad players at 1 p.m. on Sunday. 

In light of COVID-19, the NFL expanded the number of players allowed on the practice squad from 10 to 16. Furthermore, instead of only being allowed to stash two veterans on the practice squad as was the previous rule, teams can now sign up to six veteran players, regardless of how many years said player has accrued in the league. A veteran under the new NFL CBA is categorized as a player who has accrued at least four seasons of play; players who spend six or more games on an active roster during the course of a season get credited with an accrued season. 

On game day, teams are now also authorized to call up two practice squad players, essentially making the active game-day roster 48 players instead of the usual 46.  Lastly, teams are now permitted to protect up to four practice squad players a week, which is an entirely new rule. Clubs used to be allowed to sign anyone off of an opposing team’s practice squad provided that the acquired player was added to the active roster. 

All eyes will be on the rest of the Spartans’ to see if they also can latch on somewhere. With the expanded practice squad rosters, men like Lewerke, White, Panasiuk, and Stewart have more opportunities than ever before to find their first home in the league. 

At the time of this writing, only Joe Bachie and Raequan Williams have been officially added to the practice squad. We will be sure to update this article if any other Spartans are signed somewhere.