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Notes: Everything you need to know about the 53-man roster cuts deadline

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Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Over the next four days, each NFL team will make hard choices to get down from their current 80-man lists to initial regular season 53-man rosters to take into Week 1. Our site is keeping tabs on the Lions’ moves all weekend with a live tracking article, but the timing this year is a little more complicated than normal for teams due to COVID precautions. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero posted a schedule to Twitter that was sent by the league to all teams.

A couple of interesting things to notice in the last column pertain directly to COVID precautions: players will be staying at the team hotels and can be tested all the way through the end of Labor Day weekend.

For the purposes of 53-man roster watching, though, what’s really interesting is the detail provided for Sunday’s three league notices. While the transaction deadline to actually name 53 players to be on initial rosters is 4 p.m. ET on Saturday (at which time the Lions must also declare what they are doing with Austin Bryant), processing of released players does not actually happen until Noon on Sunday.

At that point on Sunday, all teams simultaneously find out which waiver claims were successful and have only one hour to make an offsetting move to clear a roster spot. Considering all teams would have just cut their rosters down to 53 players the day before, it is unlikely any team being awarded a waiver claim will already have an open spot waiting for an awarded player.

The other important aspect of the Notice #1 transaction processing is that players announced as cuts on Saturday actually become unaffiliated players eligible to then sign with any team to a practice squad. Remember: all players including veterans can be signed to practice squads this year.

For the conscientious Lions fan, then, the big rushes of information will come at Saturday 4 p.m. ET (53-man deadline) and Sunday at 1 p.m. (practice squad signings start to appear). Practice squads should be finalized for all teams by the time Monday’s 4 p.m. notice rolls out.

An oddity on the text for the last day is the point about designation for return: there is no limit on the number of players that can return from the Reserve/Injured list in 2020. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Lions actually have to designate either of their two players on injured reserve (fullback Nick Bawden and defensive lineman Jashon Cornell) as an official transaction when the Monday notice flips that switch or if it’s just assumed that all IR players are “designated.”

It’s going to be a busy weekend, so we hope to see you in the tracker and on the site to trade hot takes on all of the team’s roster moves. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes: