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NFL

NFL cut day: When is it? How many players make a final roster?

The NFL preseason is almost over, with coaches and executives focused on trimming their rosters ahead of Week 1.

Update:
The NFL preseason is almost over, with coaches and executives focused on trimming their rosters ahead of Week 1.
TOM HAUCKAFP

The NFL preseason will come to a close on Sunday night when the Houston Texans face the New Orleans Saints at Caesers Superdome. As of then, the 32 NFL teams will start focusing on the regular season, which starts with the Detroit Lions at the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday 7 September. But before they do, they must trim their rosters.

Cutdown changes for 2023 NFL season

Coaches have had training camp, practices, joint practices and preseason games to evaluate each and every player on their roster, and decision time is coming right up.

Before this year, there were several cut days that would take place after every preseason game. That was when there were usually four weeks of preseason games, and there was more time to make gradual cuts throughout August.

When is the cut deadline?

This year, however, things have changed. There are only three preseason games, and instead of shaving the roster down to 53 men week by week, NFL teams have been suiting up 90 players throughout the preseason and must make their final cuts by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday 29 August.

Do PUP players count on the 53-man roster?

The players on the cusp of the 53-man roster will have to hope they made enough of an impression during the last month to earn a spot for Week 1. Jobs, careers and the lives of hundreds of players will be determined over the next few days as they await the final decision from their coaches.

Some players, who are currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, or the PUP list, don’t count towards the 53-man roster. They are still considered part of the team, and when they return to full strength they can rejoin the team as long as the team makes adjustments to retain maximum of 53 players. A player on the PUP list at the beginning of the season can’t join the team until Week 4 in the regular season at the earliest.

For the players who don’t make the final cut, they have a few different options. Teams often need players to fill their practice squad rosters. There are 16 players that make up the practice squad, so not every player will get a chance to be signed to the squad.