Among the new practice-squad rules this season is this: each NFL team can protect four players per week from poaching by other NFL teams.
The Bears posted their list to the league Tuesday. It contains their Sunday kicker, third-string quarterback, a running back and the only new member of the practice squad. The Bears protected:
• Cairo Santos, who is almost certain to kick against the Lions after the Bears put Eddy Pineiro on Injured Reserve on Tuesday.
• Quarterback Tyler Bray, who has served as the Bears’ third-stringer since Nagy arrived in Chicago. The team has flirted with the idea of keeping him distanced from Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles in case of a breakout.
• Running back Artavis Pierce, an undrafted free agent from Oregon State who impressed Bears coaches during training camp.
• And guard Jamon Brown, whom the Falcons released last month and the Bears signed to the practice squad this week. Brown is a year-and-a-half removed from signing a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Falcons, and has started 47 games in his five full seasons.
The NFL tweaked its practice squad rules this season, expanding it to 16 players and allowing more veterans than in years past. Teams being able to protect four players per week gives them further insurance against a roster weakened by coronavirus.