ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have protected quarterback Brett Rypien, outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka, tackle Jake Rodgers and safety P.J. Locke on their practice squad ahead of their Week 1 game, the team announced Wednesday.
Under a new NFL rule, teams can protect up to four players on their practice squad each week to prevent another team from signing one of those players to their active roster.
Teams must designate the players they want to protect by Tuesday at 2 p.m. MT, and those four players remain protected through the team's game. Since the Broncos play on "Monday Night Football," Rypien, Tuszka, Rodgers and Locke will remain protected from 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday through the game on Monday.
Other teams, though, still have the opportunity to sign protected players between the game window and 2 p.m. MT each Tuesday. For teams that play Monday night, that window stretches until 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday.
For example, if an opposing team wanted to sign a player off the Broncos' practice squad after next week's game, they would be able to do so between the end of Monday night's game and 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday. At 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday, the Broncos would then again be able to protect four players for the next week.
Rypien spent time on the Broncos' active roster in 2019, while Rodgers made one start for the team. Tuszka was a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, while P.J. Locke has yet to appear in an NFL game.
Also under the NFL's new practice squad rules, teams can choose to elevate two practice squad players to the active roster on game day and then have them rejoin the practice squad after the game without having to clear waivers. A team's game-day active roster can increase from 46 players to 48 players, with certain restrictions.