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Monday, September 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local collegians, high school products added to NFL practice squads Sunday

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 6, 2020

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale runs through a drill during practice at the NFL football team's training facility Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Berea, Ohio.  (Associated Press)
Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale runs through a drill during practice at the NFL football team's training facility Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Berea, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Saturday came with discouraging news for various local college and high school products hoping for a spot on an NFL 53-man roster.

On Sunday, a few of those were able to let out a breath of fresh air, knowing they’d still be playing some form of professional football this fall, with a shot at eventually climbing their way back up to the active roster.

Two Washington State players, one from Idaho, one from Eastern Washington and two from Spokane high schools who didn’t make 53-man cuts on Saturday learned Sunday they’d made NFL practice squads, meaning they’ll still spend the fall in professional facilities, making approximately $8,000 per week while training with some of the best players in the game.

River Cracraft, the ex-Cougars slot receiver, was added to the practice squad of the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, who initially signed him to a free agent contract last week.

A source close to Cracraft said the partnership was “a match made in heaven.” With the 49ers, Cracraft will have an opportunity to be coached by Wes Welker, the longtime Patriots/Broncos standout who, like Cracraft, also played slot receiver for former WSU and Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

One day after being cut by the Cleveland Browns, former Cougars nose tackle Daniel Ekuale learned he’d be headed to Jacksonville to join the practice squad.

Jeff Cotton, a two-year starting receiver for Idaho in 2018 and 2019, was added to the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers, the team that signed him as a free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft.

Former EWU offensive lineman Jake Rodgers was signed to the Denver Broncos’ practice squad.

Former Cal and Gonzaga Prep linebacker Evan Weaver will remain with the Arizona Cardinals as a member of the practice squad and former Greater Spokane League rival Brett Rypien, of Shadle Park, was retained by the Denver Broncos as a practice squad quarterback.

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