Carolina Panthers: 4 protected practice squad candidates

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Branden Bowen
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Branden Bowen /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) Omar Bayless and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III /

Which members of the Carolina Panthers could be candidates for the new protected practice squad player tag in 2020?

Things are seemingly changing by the day in the NFL. The 2020 season is all systems in terms of starting on time. But some serious adjustments have been made to accommodate for the health concerns surrounding COVID-19.

The Carolina Panthers deserve a tremendous amount of credit for taking every necessary precaution to ensure a safe environment for its players at camp. But with no preseason games to see what they will be working with. There is a chance that it might take some time before this new-look group reaches the sort of level it is capable of.

One area that will undergo a significant change next season is the practice squad conditions. The NFL has allocated 16 players instead of the proposed increase to 12 as part of the new CBA. And four players can be labeled with a protected tag for the first time.

This will be done on a weekly basis. And it gives the Panthers an opportunity to keep valuable fringe players around without running the risk of them being claimed by another organization.

There are always some tough cuts for teams that don’t last long on the practice squad. But this will give the Panthers and others more freedom in terms of which players to identify as long-term assets despite their inability to make the 53-man roster initially.

It is yet another intriguing element from an offseason of unprecedented disruption. And here are four potential candidates for the protected practice squad tag in 2020.