During the regular season there are 53 players on every NFL team. This is known as the “53 man roster.” These are the 53 players that are employed full-time by their team, and who ideally will play a full season. Only 47-48 of those players dress for games, however. For every game, 7-8 players on the 53 man roster will be designated as “inactive.” This means that they are not in pads and cannot enter the game that day.
However, before the season, there are 90 players on every NFL team. This is called the “90 man roster.” Teams enter training camp with the 90 man roster and use training camp and preseason games to cut their rosters down to 53 players. This process of roster cuts happens over the 4-6 weeks that training camp lasts. In other words, NFL teams cut their roster size by close to 40 players during training camp and the preseason. Then, on game days, even fewer are allowed to actually play.
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