The Pittsburgh Steelers have protected four players from being poached from their practice squad in the first week of the NFL season, preserving their rights to defensive end Henry Mondeaux, tight end Kevin Rader, running back Jaylen Samuels and wide receiver Cody White.
Other than the maximum of four protected players per week, players on NFL practice squads are considered free agents able to be signed by any other squad.
The Steelers can choose to elevate up to two players per week from the practice squad and return them without subjecting them to waivers. Each player can be elevated three times per season.
The Steelers practice squad stands at 16 players after a trio of additions, including Mondeaux. Rico Bussey was placed on the practice squad injured list, while reported addition Christian Miller was never officially added to the squad.