NFL Workout Updates: 9/24/18

Today’s workout updates are below. There were some notable names, including veteran quarterback Landry Jones, who was released by the Steelers at final cuts.

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Looks like the Browns are searching for defensive help, working out a slew of players on that side of the ball. Jones working out for the Patriots is interesting, as he isn’t really young enough to be seen as a developmental project, and Brian Hoyer is entrenched as Tom Brady‘s backup.

Everson Griffen Has ‘Serious Personal Health’ Issue

UPDATE: Pelissero confirms Griffen was involved at an incident at a hotel in Minneapolis this weekend. The below story seems to be related to that incident. You can view the details of that report in Pelissero’s follow-up tweet here. Pelissero also adds in another tweet that Griffen is “being evaluated at a local hospital” and that there are “concerns about his mental health.”

Everson Griffen didn’t play in the Vikings’ recent loss to the Bills, and mysteriously wasn’t at the game at all. Coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that his absence wasn’t injury related and was due to something “personal.”

While the situation is still murky, new details are beginning to emerge. Griffen “has been dealing for weeks with a serious, personal health-related issue” sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). This helps explain why Zimmer was so vague, but still doesn’t explain why the Vikings said there was no injury to Griffen.

Vikings GM Rick Spielman released a statement with Pelissero’s report, saying “we are aware of the situation involving Everson Griffen and certainly concerned by what we have heard. We are currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family.”

Everything is very vague, but it certainly sounds like Griffen is dealing with a very serious issue. We don’t want to speculate on what it could be, so we’ll wait until further details emerge. However, it doesn’t sound like Minnesota is planning on having Griffen suit up for them anytime soon.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/24/18

Here are today’ practice squad moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: TE Pharoah Brown
  • Released: TE Pharoah McKever

Indianapolis Colts

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/24/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals 

  • Claimed off waivers from the Browns: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • Released: DE Jacquies Smith

Baltimore Ravens

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

49ers Hosting Group Of Veteran QB’s

In the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo‘s ACL tear that will sideline him for the rest of the 2018 season, the 49ers are making moves to bolster their quarterback room, as the team will host a group of veteran signal callers according to head coach Kyle Shanahan (Twitter link via Nick Wagoner of ESPN).

The quarterbacks coming in for workouts tomorrow include Tom Savage, T.J. Yates, and Kellen Clemens. Wagoner adds that Shanahan said Matt Moore is “another possibility” and that Nick Mullens would likely be activated from the practice squad. Shanahan has already said that the team won’t bring in any competition for C.J. Beathard, so any quarterback signed would be added solely as a backup to Beathard.

Savage started seven games for the Texans last year, but found himself released by the Saints at final cuts after New Orleans traded for Teddy Bridgewater. Yates also most recently spent time with the Texans, starting three games for them last year. He’s bounced around the league as a spot starter, and even won a playoff game for the Texans a few years back. Clemens just recently saw his long tenure as backup to Philip Rivers come to an end when the Chargers decided not to re-sign him after the 2017 season. Clemens hasn’t seen meaningful action in a long time, as Rivers never missed a start during Clemens’ run with the Chargers.

Overall, it’s not exactly an inspiring group. Beathard should have no trouble keeping the starting job the rest of the way assuming he can stay healthy, and it’s possible the team opts to just stick with Mullens as their backup. Mullens was an undrafted free agent in 2017 who has stuck around on San Francisco’s practice squad.

Aqib Talib Out At Least A Month

More bad news for the Rams’ defense as star cornerback Aqib Talib has a high ankle sprain and will miss at least a month of action according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link).

It comes on the heels of the news that fellow cornerback Marcus Peters would miss some time due to a calf strain. Both players suffered their lower leg injuries in yesterday’s win over the Chargers. It means the Rams’ secondary will likely be extremely short-handed when they take on the Vikings on Thursday Night Football just three days from now.

The Rams’ defense was already a little banged up, with starting inside linebacker Mark Barron missing the first three games due to an Achilles injury. It’s a significant blow to Los Angeles’ new-look defense, as both Talib and Peters were prized acquisitions this offseason, tasked with replacing departed free agent Trumaine Johnson in the secondary. Talib and Peters had mostly shutdown opposing wideouts the first few games, with very few passes targeted their way. Through three games, Talib notched nine tackles, a pair of passes defended, and a forced fumble.

Talib, 32, is in the 11th year of his career and playing on his fourth team. The five-time Pro Bowler was drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round back in 2008. After a successful run in Denver where he won a Super Bowl, Talib was traded to the Rams for a fifth round pick this offseason. Former Packers starter Sam Shields figures to see the biggest increase in playing time while Talib is on the shelf.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Cut RB Christine Michael

The Colts are releasing veteran running back Christine Michael, a source told Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). The 27-year-old lasted just three weeks in Indianapolis, the latest stop in his long-winding career.

Michael was always someone thought by evaluators to be high on talent, but could never put it all together. He re-signed on a one-year deal with the Colts this March after spending all of 2017 on injured reserve. Through three weeks, he appeared in just two games, carrying the ball twice for nine yards. Rookie Jordan Wilkins has emerged as a solid runner this year, and the team apparently feels comfortable moving forward with just Wilkins, Marlon Mack, and fellow rookie Nyheim Hines on the depth chart.

Michael was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round back in 2013, but never made a huge impact in Seattle. At the beginning of the 2015 season, he was traded to the Cowboys for just a conditional seventh round pick. Just a couple months later, he was waived by Dallas. After a short stint on the Redskins’ practice squad, he found himself back with the Seahawks. He spent parts of the next two seasons as Seattle’s starting running back, and played well, but was surprisingly waived in November of 2016.

He spent the rest of 2016 with the Packers, before signing with the Colts. It’s been a long journey for Michael, and he’ll likely resurface somewhere on a team that needs running back help. For his career he’s rushed for 1,080 yards on 254 carries (4.3 YPC) with seven touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Audition Kickers

The Raiders will be auditioning a group of kickers this week to replace the injured Mike Nugent, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Twitter link).

Raiders coach Jon Gruden made the announcement at his Monday presser and said that the team will “be trying out numerous people.” Gehlken reports “flights for free agents being arranged now” after Nugent hurt his hip against the Dolphins yesterday, throwing his status for this weekend’s game against the Browns into doubt.

Nugent has been excellent this year, converting all six of his field goal attempts including kicks from 46, 48, and 52 yards through the first three games of the season. Nugent has become a true journeyman during his time in the league. The 36-year-old has spent time with eight different organizations, with stops with the Jets, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Bengals, Giants, Cowboys, and Bears before he landed in Oakland on a one-year deal this summer.

Nugent was an elite kicking prospect coming out of Ohio State, and the Jets invested the 47th overall pick in him back in 2005. It’s unclear at this time who the Raiders plan on working out, but Cairo Santos, Nick Folk, Kai Forbath, Daniel Carlson, and Roberto Aguayo are some of the biggest names left available and could potentially get calls.

 

Cardinals To Start Josh Rosen

It’s Josh Rosen time. On Monday, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks announced that Rosen will replace Sam Bradford as the team’s starting quarterback. 

This was the expected move after Rosen replaced Bradford late in the team’s 16-14 loss to the Bears. Bradford exited after throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. Rosen, meanwhile, had a few good plays, but threw a costly interception with roughly one minute remaining in the game.

Rosen was less-than-perfect in his short NFL debut, but the Cardinals clearly needed to make a change after getting off to an abysmal start. The entire offense has sputtered through three games and the team has failed to fully utilize the talents of running back David Johnson. If Rosen can keep defenses honest, Johnson may finally have room to run.

Rosen, a UCLA product, threw for 59 touchdowns against 16 interceptions across three college seasons. In the spring, the Cardinals made him the No. 10 overall pick in the draft.

Four of this year’s five first-round QBs are now installed as starters with Ravens rookie Lamar Jackson as the odd man out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Not Interested In Earl Thomas, Eric Reid

Falcons coach Dan Quinn says the team is not interested in acquiring a high profile safety such as Earl Thomas or Eric Reid, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Although the team has lost starter Ricardo Allen for the season, Quinn says he’s confident in the ability of Damontae Kazee to hold down free safety with Jordan Richards and Kemal Ishmael at strong safety. 

Quinn added that Reid’s participation in national anthem protests were not a factor in the team’s decision. Rather, he says that he likes the team’s internal options.

As for Thomas, one has to imagine that the Falcons are simply unwilling to pay the necessary price to acquire him from the Seahawks in a trade. Thomas has been vocal about his desire for a new deal and trade speculation is percolating once again after the three-time All-Pro skipped two practices inside of one week.

While the Chiefs and Cowboys could be among the clubs to pursue Thomas, it sounds like the Falcons can be scratched off of the list.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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