It’s a new week in the NFL, but the Detroit Lions continue to roll out the same protected practice squad strategy it has all season. In Week 5, the Lions have elected to protect the maximum four players, and it’s the same four players that were protected last two weeks:
- Steven Montez, QB
- Bruce Hector, DL
- Jalen Elliott, S
- Ryan Santoso, K
Montez, Hector, and Elliott have yet to be elevated to the active roster for a game, while Santoso was a COVID-19 roster elevation in Weeks 3 and 4, filling in for kicker Austin Seibert who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Despite being elevated twice, Santoso remains eligible to be elevated again if needed.
Per the addendum to the CBA in 2020, a player is allowed two standard elevations from the practice squad during a single season, but they can be elevated as a COVID-19 replacement elevation an unlimited number of times. Therefore, Santoso can still be elevated to the active roster this week, and he may be needed if Seibert is still not cleared from the COVID-19 list.
Tim Boyle is eligible to return from injured reserve once healthy but he is not expected to do so at this time. Therefore, Montez should continue to be protected by the Lions as long as Boyle is on IR, assuring that they will have three quarterbacks available.