Steelers Sign James Harrison

TUESDAY, 9:11am: Harrison has officially confirmed his signing, posting a photo on Instagram of him inking the deal.

MONDAY, 6:53pm: James Harrison may be on the verge of beating Sugar Ray Leonard’s record for the shortest retirement in professional sports history. The linebacker is scheduled to meet tomorrow with Steelers coaches and if all goes well, he’ll sign with Pittsburgh, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter) hears an agreement is already in place and says that the veteran is coming back to play for the Steelers.James Harrison (vertical)

The reunion with Harrison is more than a feel-good story, it was something of a necessity for the Steelers. In their comfortable 37-19 victory over the Panthers, the Steelers lost two linebackers. Rookie inside linebacker Ryan Shazier exited early in the third quarter with a knee injury and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was taken out of action with a wrist injury. On top of that, veteran cornerback Ike Taylor suffered a broken forearm in the third quarter.

While Harrison played the 2013 season with the Bengals, most of his NFL career was spent in Pittsburgh, where he earned spots in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2007-11. The 36-year-old logged 146 career games, including 105 starts, racking up 647 overall tackles and 66 sacks. His best season probably came in 2008, when he recorded 101 tackles, 16 sacks, and seven forced fumbles for the Steelers, earning a first-team All-Pro nod.

Harrison’s August visit with the Cardinals didn’t lead to a deal, but one month later he’s on the verge of returning to the team where he enjoyed his best seasons. In a fun twist, he’ll be playing for a coaching staff that includes former teammate Joey Porter, who now serves as a defensive assistant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Promote Cordarro Law

With two open roster spots to fill after placing Danny Woodhead and Melvin Ingram on IR, the Chargers will promote a player who has spent the season on their practice squad. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, linebacker Cordarro Law will be added to the team’s 53-man roster.

Law, 25, drew NFL interest last winter after a standout 2013 season with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, in which the outside linebacker racked up 14 sacks. Before he signed with the Chargers, the Jaguars, Patriots, and Ravens were among the teams who auditioned Law or at least had some interest in him, according to various reports. The former Southern Miss standout went undrafted in 2012 and was picked up by the Seahawks before being cut and heading north to the CFL.

For San Diego, Law will help reinforce a linebacking corps that has been depleted by injuries in recent weeks. Ingram is on injured reserved with the designation to return, meaning he won’t be eligible to return to game action for another seven weeks. According to Gehklen, Manti Te’o is also expected to miss significant time after suffering a foot fracture during Sunday’s game against the Bills. Te’o likely won’t land on injured reserve, but figures to miss multiple contests.

Once the Law promotion becomes official, the Chargers will still have one opening on their 53-man roster to fill. Presumably, that spot is earmarked for a running back.

Jaguars To Re-Sign Sherrod Martin

The Jaguars have struck a deal to bring back safety Sherrod Martin, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Although Wilson classifies the signing as having been completed, Jacksonville will need to cut a player to make room on the 53-man roster for Martin, so the team has yet to officially announce the move.

Martin, who will turn 30 next month, was a second-round pick by the Panthers in 2009, spending the first four seasons of his NFL seasons in Carolina. During that stretch, the Troy alum appeared in 59 games, starting 36, and accumulated 184 tackles to go along with seven interceptions and four forced fumbles. Having signed a futures contract with the Jaguars at the end of the 2013 season, Martin spent the offseason and preseason with the club before being cut when rosters were trimmed from 75 players to 53.

The Jaguars had been in need of some added depth at the safety position after cutting Craig Loston over the weekend and seeing Chris Prosinski suffer an elbow/triceps injury during Sunday’s game against the Colts. Loston is now back on the team’s practice squad, while Prosinski is expected to be sidelined for two to four weeks.

Extra Points: Hall, Pryor, Ravens, Rambo

Now that his season is over prematurely, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall will focus on making his younger teammates better, writes Zac Boyer of The Washington Times. “I was just trying to coach them up — just trying to let them know, ‘Now is the time,’” Hall said. “It’s their time to go out there and make plays. We need them. We need them now more than ever.” Here’s tonight’s look around the NFL..

  • The Buccaneers worked out quarterback Terrelle Pryor but they did not sign him, tweets Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune. There may not be a match with Pryor, but he won’t be the last quarterback Tampa Bay looks at. Pryor was cut by the Seahawks in late August and even though the Rams showed some interest, nothing came of that. The Bucs also worked out wide receivers Juron Criner and Louis Murphy, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh says his club plans to bolster the tight end position, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Baltimore look out-of-house after losing Dennis Pitta for the season.
  • The Bears worked out three defensive backs on Saturday: Bacarri Rambo, former Seahawks safety Dion Bailey, and Bryan McCanntweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Rambo, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft, was waived by the Redskins last week. He was expendable for Washington since Brandon Meriweather is back from his two-game suspension. Tight end Ryan Otten was also in the workout, Biggs tweets.
  • The Dolphins tried out tight ends Brandon Barden and Konrad Reuland, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll keep tabs of today’s minor transactions from around the NFL right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Dolphins have signed Marcus Thigpen to their practice squad, writes Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. Thigpen spent one week on the Patriots’ practice squad beore being cut last week. Thigpen, a former CFL standout, contributed 1,910 kickoff return yards, 580 punt return yards, and scored three touchdowns for the Dolphins in the past two seasons.
  • The Redskins will sign center Tevita Stevens to their practice squad tomorrow, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones, who injured his wrist last night, has been placed on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list with the designation to return, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). The designation means that Jones will be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks of game action.
  • In advance of tonight’s game against the Jets, the Bears have waived wide receiver Josh Bellamy and promoted linebacker Terrell Manning from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Linebacker Keith Smith has been cut by the Cowboys, the team officially announced today (via Twitter). For now, the club has an opening on its 53-man roster.
  • The Ravens are filling the 10th and final opening on their practice squad by re-adding defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • After being cut from the team’s active roster before this weekend’s contest against the Colts, safety Craig Loston has rejoined the Jaguars‘ practice squad, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson is set to join the Vikings‘ practice squad, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). When the move becomes official, Minnesota will need to cut or promote someone off the practice squad to clear a spot for Bethel-Thompson.
  • The Buccaneers have removed Rashaan Melvin from their injured reserve list with a settlement, says Wilson (via Twitter).

Chargers Looking To Sign Running Back

In the wake of Danny Woodhead‘s season-ending injury, the Chargers will waste little time in adding another tailback. Head coach Mike McCoy says that the sooner the his team can add a third healthy running back to roster, the better, tweets Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. He added that he wants to finalize his decision in the next 24 hours.

Woodhead suffered a high ankle sprain and a fracture fibula during Sunday’s game against the Bills and needs surgery to fix the damage. Few would have expected the Bolts to be in the market for an RB in September since they entered the year with a talented three-headed backfield of Ryan Mathews, Woodhead, and Donald Brown. Mathews, of course, is out with an MCL sprain and while he’ll be back, it won’t be for at least a few weeks.

Running back Marion Grice was a candidate to be called up from the the taxi squad for that role, but the Chargers will definitely be going out-of-house for their third halfback now that the ASU product has signed with the Cardinals. Since the team was carrying just 52 players at the time of Woodhead’s injury, there are currently two openings on the 53-man roster.

Lions To Sign Josh Bynes

Inside linebacker Josh Bynes is expected to sign with the Lions’ active roster off of the Ravens’ practice squad, sources tell Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Bynes will give Detroit additional linebacker depth after losing Stephen Tulloch to a torn ACL.

Bynes, 25, appeared in 26 games for the Ravens from 2011 through 2014 and made nine starts along the way. In total, Bynes recorded 79 tackles and five pass deflections for Baltimore. The Ravens cut Bynes from their active roster on September 2nd to make room for cornerback Derek Cox, but quickly re-signed him to their taxi squad. As our own Luke Adams detailed earlier this month, Bynes was one of just eleven NFL practice squad players to earn more than the minimum. Bynes had a $15K deal with the Ravens, making him the second-highest paid p-squad player of 2014.

Cardinals To Sign Marion Grice

The Cardinals are set to sign Marion Grice to a two-year deal, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter). Grice, who was on the Chargers’ practice squad, took his physical this afternoon and passed (link).

In the wake of Danny Woodhead‘s season ending injury, Grice was a candidate to be bumped to the active roster. That won’t be happening, however, as he’ll relocate to the Southwest and help support Cardinals starting running back Andre Ellington. Arizona’s change of pace back Jonathan Dwyer was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list after he was arrested for a July domestic violence incident. The Cards also have newly-signed running back Jalen Parmele on the roster, so it’s not immediately clear where he’ll fit in on the depth chart.

The 6’0″, 204 pound RB averaged 5.7 yards per carry in his two seasons at Arizona State, scoring 25 rushing touchdowns and 14 receiving touchdowns along the way. Grice was selected by the Chargers with the 201st overall pick in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft.

At this moment the Cardinals have five running backs in Ellington, Stepfan TaylorRobert Hughes, Parmele, and Grice. No corresponding move has been announced yet.

Injury Updates: Monday

Teams around the league today are assessing the damage from Week 3′s games, and in some cases the news is sobering. At Pro Football Rumors, we don’t cover every injury, but we’ll keep tabs on the major ones that could result in a player heading to injured reserve or in his team adding a replacement via free agency or trade. Here are the latest Monday updates on those major injuries from this week:

  • According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Panthers running back Mike Tolbert has sustained a hairline fracture in his leg, while Jonathan Stewart has a sprained knee. Tolbert, who also has a bone bruise, won’t require surgery but may miss more than a month, a source tells Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). With DeAngelo Williams also banged up, expect the Panthers to add some help for the backfield this week.

Earlier updates:

  • Like Jason Kelce, whose injury is noted below, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph will undergo surgery for a sports hernia, reports Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter links). Rudolph is expected to miss about six weeks, which might make him a candidate for the injured reserve list with the designation to return.
  • Saints center Jonathan Goodwin has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). While an MRI today will determine the severity of the injury, the team anticipates that Goodwin will miss time.
  • As first reported by Howard Eskin of 94WIP Radio in Philadelphia (Twitter link), Eagles center Jason Kelce has a sports hernia injury and is expected to require surgery, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s the latest blow for an increasingly depleted Eagles line, which is already missing Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre and may require an outside addition, as both Eskin and McLane point out. McLane reports that Kelce could end up missing about two months.
  • Lions head coach Jim Caldwell confirmed today that linebacker Stephen Tulloch will be placed on injured reserve after sustaining a torn ACL (Twitter link). As if the season-ending injury wasn’t bad enough, it happened while Tulloch was celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers by performing his version of the “Discount Double Check” act.
  • Bills wideout and special-teams ace Marcus Easley has suffered a sprained MCL, and will likely be sidelined for four to six weeks, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Buffalo has yet to use its IR-DTR spot, but Easley may not be a candidate for that designation, since he could return within a month.
  • We rounded up some news on Steelers injuries earlier this morning.

Dennis Pitta Has Hip Surgery, Out For Year

4:10pm: Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed to reporters that Pitta underwent hip surgery today and is out for the season (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).

MONDAY, 2:27pm: Pitta will undergo surgery to repair the damage to his dislocated hip, and team sources believe he also suffered a fracture, says Wilson (via Twitter).

SUNDAY, 4:56pm: Pitta suffered a dislocated hip and tests tomorrow will check for a fracture, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.

4:16pm: The Ravens fear that Pitta is done for the season, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.

2:53pm: Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was carted off of the field in in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Browns and Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun writes that he appears to have injured the same right hip that cost him most of his 2013 campaign. There’s no official word on Pitta’s status just yet, but it’s clearly bad news for the talented tight end.

Pitta suffered a fracture and dislocation of his hip in July of 2013 and didn’t see the gridiron until December. Pitta emerged as a true offensive talent in 2012 when he hauled in 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns. His strong play continued into the postseason, where he hauled in touchdown passes in three of the Ravens’ four playoff contests, including their Super Bowl XLVII wn over the 49ers. In the Super Bowl win, Pitta had four receptions for 26 yards and a score.

The 29-year-old was off to a strong start through two weeks this season, including a ten catch, 83 yard performance in the opener against Cincinnati. Pitta had three catches for 12 yards against Cleveland today before his injury.

In the interim, without Pitta, the Ravens will have to rely heavily on two-time Pro Bowl tight end Owen Daniels. The veteran hauled in two touchdowns against the Steelers but isn’t quite as explosive as a healthy Pitta.