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NFL announces some roster rule changes for the playoffs

The Cleveland Browns are returning to the postseason, so running through the latest updates is a good idea.

Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will open the playoffs in less than two weeks as the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

While the Browns know that they will be on the road against the winner of the AFC South Division, just who will emerge from the trio of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, won’t be known until after this weekend’s final slate of games.

The same goes for the day and time, although it might not be a bad idea for Browns fans to keep January 14 at 1 p.m. open on their calendars as that is when the NFL generally airs what it considers one of the lesser attractive matchups of the opening weekend of the playoffs.

With the postseason on the horizon, the NFL sent out a memo on Tuesday outlining the roster rules for the playoffs, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Given that the Browns are in the playoffs and that injuries have forced the club to make more roster moves than imaginable, it is a good idea to freshen up on the changes.

So, without further ado:

  • Any player waived this Friday or Saturday will remain on waivers until Monday at 4 p.m. (So no grabbing a player for that last-minute playoff push this weekend!)
  • Once the playoffs begin, transactions are allowed until 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
  • If you are in the playoffs and want to sign a player that has cleared waivers? You can do so immediately and the player can be added to the active roster, practice squad, or the futures roster.
  • Not in the playoffs? (Looking at you, Cincinnati Bengals!) Well, those teams can still sign a player who has cleared waivers, but only to their futures roster.
  • Beginning on January 10 at 4 p.m., playoff teams can begin to sign free agents, including players off the practice squads of other teams, but are limited to a total of four free agent signings with a maximum of two free agent signings during any week of the playoffs.
  • If you are a player who is currently on your team’s practice squad, your contract expires seven days after the team’s final game, or sooner if the team decides it has seen enough and releases you.
  • Finally, there is no limit to the number of times a team can elevate a player from the practice squad during the playoffs. (This would have come in handy when there was much nonsensical pearl-clutching about the Browns possibly losing quarterback Joe Flacco to another team while he was on the practice squad.)

Hopefully, the Browns have finally reached their limit of injuries and can proceed through the playoffs without requiring too much roster shuffling.

But if not, there is little doubt that General Manager Andrew Berry and his staff will have no trouble deciphering the league’s latest round of roster changes for the postseason.