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.

Steelers To Sign James Harrison

James Harrison may be on the verge of beating Sugar Ray Leonard’s record for the shortest retirement in professional sports. 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.

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.

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:

  • 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).

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.

Florida Notes: Tannehill, Dolphins, Jaguars

Matt Moore is one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in the league, and the Dolphins may be reaching a point where they’re not just paying him to sit on the bench. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, after another poor performance from Ryan Tannehill on Sunday, the club is mulling the possibility of changing quarterbacks. As Salguero notes, head coach Joe Philbin was evasive when asked about Tannehill’s job security today, and while a change isn’t necessarily imminent, the team is at least considering it.

If Tannehill were to lose his job, it wouldn’t bode well for his next contract. After this season, the Dolphins will have to make a decision on the signal-caller’s fifth-year option for 2016, and could even sign him to an extension if they so choose. While that option would almost certainly be exercised if Tannehill has a big 2014, it’s not looking good at the moment for him.

Here’s more on Tannehill, along with a couple more items on the NFL’s Florida teams….

  • Predictably, Tannehill was one of the three players Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap named in his weekly look at players whose potential future earnings have taken a hit based on their recent performances.
  • While the Dolphins haven’t looked great on the offensive side of the ball over the last two weeks, the defense hasn’t been any better, and according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Miami players are getting frustrated. One source tells Beasley that many of the defenders are “beyond furious, irate” with defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle‘s game plans and play calls.
  • Assuming Blake Bortles stays healthy and remains the No. 1 quarterback in Jacksonville, the Jaguars will receive a $1.25MM credit on their cap, according to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Those savings would be a result of Chad Henne not reaching the playing-time incentives on his deal with the club.

Danny Woodhead Out For Season

MONDAY, 3:42pm: Chargers head coach Mike McCoy confirmed today that Woodhead will be out for the season, and is being placed on injured reserve (Twitter link via Eric Williams of ESPN.com). Since the team had already been carrying just 52 players, there are now two openings on the 53-man roster.

SUNDAY, 5:28pm: Chargers running back Danny Woodhead suffered a high ankle sprain and a fracture fibula during today’s game against the Bills, reports Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (via Twitter). According to Marvez, Woodhead will likely undergo season-ending surgery to repair the damage.

While San Diego entered the season with a wealth of talent at the running back position, including Woodhead, Ryan Mathews, and Donald Brown, the team’s backfield has taken a hit in recent weeks. In addition to seeing Woodhead go down this week, the Chargers also had Mathews suffer an MCL sprain, which is expected to sideline him for multiple games.

We’ll have to wait for an official announcement from the club on Woodhead’s status, which figures to come on Monday, but it looks like the injured reserve list is a strong possibility for the former Patriot. The Chargers just used their IR spot with the designation to return yesterday on linebacker Melvin Ingram, so that won’t be an option for Woodhead.

If the Chargers decide to replace Woodhead on their 53-man roster with another running back, Marion Grice is a candidate. Grice is currently the only back on the team’s practice squad.

DeAngelo Hall Placed On IR With Torn Achilles

3:16pm: The Redskins have announced a series of roster moves: Hall and fellow defensive back Duke Ihenacho, who has a broken heel, have been placed on injured reserve; Minnifield has been promoted to the active roster; and linebacker Darryl Sharpton has been cut from the IR list with a settlement (Twitter link).

1:47pm: Minnifield will indeed be promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad to take Hall’s roster spot, Jones confirms (via Twitter).

12:37pm: The Redskins’ fears were confirmed today, according to Dianna Russini of NBC4 in Washington, who reports (via Twitter) that DeAngelo Hall suffered a torn Achilles in yesterday’s game, and will undergo surgery within the next few days. The veteran cornerback will miss the remainder of the 2014 season, Russini adds (via Twitter).

Hall, 30, avoided free agency back in February by signing a new four-year, $17MM deal with the Redskins. Only about a third of that money was guaranteed, so Washington won’t necessarily be obligated to keep Hall on the roster for the 2015 season, but I’d expect the cornerback to return to the team as long as his surgery and recovery goes well.

While Hall has yet to officially be placed on injured reserve, the team will open a roster spot when that move is finalized. According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the Redskins are leaning toward promoting cornerback Chase Minnifield from their practice squad to the active roster. However, Minnifield has yet to hear anything on that front (Twitter links).

For now, with Hall out, it appears Bashaud Breeland will be in line for a more significant role in Washington’s secondary.