There are 55 players on an NFL team's roster, with 53 on the active roster. On game day, however, just 48 players dress. Before the game, each team's 11 starting players on the field are announced.
The 48-man team is a welcome change for the NFL, as only 46 players could suit up on game day for quite a while. In terms of the number of players permitted on the Gridiron at any given time, only eleven players from the active squad are permitted on the Gridiron during a scrimmage down. A team with more than 11 players will be penalized for having too many players on the field.
The NFL Roster Rules
National Football League teams are allowed 53 players on their active squad, but only 48 can dress up for a game since the operational roster rules were changed recently.
Another new change was increasing practice squads from 10 players to 16. Teams can poach practice squad players from other teams for their rosters if they leave someone out by either trading, waiving, or putting them on the PUP list.
The New Roster Management Rules for the NFL
The League and NFLPA agreed to some new roster management rules that have been in effect since last season.
Players placed on injured reserve will now be required to miss at least four games since the date the player was placed on the applicable reserve list.
In the past, an unlimited number of players placed on IR after the training camp rosters were trimmed to 53 could return to the active roster after missing a minimum of three games.
Also, whereas teams previously had no limit on the number of players they could bring back from IR for reserve lists, a maximum of eight such transactions will now be permitted.
That allocation will also include those on the non-football injury/illness lists. Any player who lands on IR more than once can be designated to return up to two times, both times counting against the eight-player maximum.
Teams can also carry 16 players on their practice squad, increasing to two players.
The League and NFLPA also agreed on new rules governing the ramp-up period of training camp. Whereas on-field sessions could be at most two hours, the new schedule will allow teams a maximum of 90 minutes on Day 2 and 105 minutes on Day 3, with the two-hour limit kicking in for Days 4 and 5 of the ramp-up period.