Chris Banjo

The NFL announced some new rules for the practice squad on Tuesday, including its expansion from eight to 10 players. The league also made second-year players who’ve spent time on the active roster eligible for the practice squad. That’s probably good news for some guys currently on the Green Bay Packers roster.

Here’s the language.

… each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit.

So basically, anyone who was on the Packers active roster as a rookie in 2013 would now be eligible for the practice squad. That would include everyone from first-round pick Datone Jones to safety Chris Banjo, who was an undrafted free agent.

While the Packers aren’t going to try to stash Jones on the practice squad, they very well might try to do so with someone like Banjo. Despite spending all 16 games on the active roster in 2013, Banjo is now caught in a previously unforeseen logjam at safety.

The Packers have drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, moved Micah Hyde from cornerback and refused to give up on Morgan Burnett. They’ve also gotten stellar play from Sean Richardson this preseason. We can now see those guys are going to be on the active roster, which leaves Banjo as the odd man out.

Other guys who are now eligible include outside linebacker Andy Mulumba, tight end Jake Stoneburner and offensive lineman Lane Taylor.

We’d be willing to wager both Mulumba and Taylor will make the active roster, but can’t see how Stoneburner will, unless the Packers decide they’v seen enough of Ryan Taylor, one of their best special teams players.

The other Packers with newly-found practice squad eligibility are Jones, Eddie Lacy, David Bakhtiari, Micah Hyde, Josh Boyd and Nate Palmer.

Why isn’t the entire 2013 draft class listed there? Some of those guys didn’t play in enough games in 2013, so they were already eligible. We’re talking about guys like J.C. Tretter, Kevin Dorsey and Sam Barrington.

We could see Palmer, Dorsey and Barrington all ending up on the practice squad this season.

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