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Saints call up two practice squad receivers as COVID-19 replacements

Both wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Ken Crawley were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, prompting the New Orleans Saints to promote a pair of wide receivers from the practice squad: veteran Austin Carr and rookie Juwan Johnson. NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill first reported the roster moves.

Per an NFL rules tweak, these will not count against each other player for future promotions (the new CBA allows for two practice squad call-ups per player each season). Because they are filling in for teammates on COVID-19 reserve, both players are granted a temporary exemption. Carr has already had one game-week promotion so he is still allowed one more, while Johnson retains both of his future opportunities.

Johnson was signed by the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of Oregon, where the 6-foot-4, 231 pounder struggled to stay healthy after transferring from Penn State. He impressed with his blocking in training camp and was quickly signed to the practice squad after roster cuts.

Additionally, the Saints signed backup guard Will Clapp to the 53-man roster after losing wide receiver Bennie Fowler to injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Clapp has been signed, released, and re-signed six times this year as he bounces between the practice squad and active roster.

And the Saints may not be finished yet. They can call up two more practice squad players as typical game-day roster additions, but they could wait until pregame warmups on Sunday to decide whether more help is needed. So stay tuned for updates.

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