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NFL expected to increase practice squad to 10 players

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Word is out that the NFL will increase the size of the practice squad as soon as next week. That bodes well for a team like the 49ers that can find some hidden gems.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL could be making a small but important decision. Mike McCartney reported the NFL is expected to increase the size of each practice squad from 8 players to 10 players. Adam Schefter followed by reporting it could happen as soon as next week.

This is a big move across the league, and it could potentially do some good things for the 49ers. Although some of the 49ers backups have struggled this preseason, they remain deeper than most teams in the NFL. This move provides an opportunity for the 49ers to keep some of their own players that otherwise might sign with another practice squad.

It is not a huge boon for the 49ers because some of the talented players they release to sign to the practice squad will be claimed by other teams. To get a player to the practice squad at the end of the preseason, that player must be waived, and then clear waivers. If the player is claimed by another team, he goes to their 53-man roster. If the player is not claimed, he becomes a free agent and can sign with the practice squad. This would not have saved a guy like Marcus Cooper last year, who was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs. But it could save a spot for the next Alex Boone, or Michael Wilhoite, or Tony Jerod-Eddie, among many others.