Month: September 2022

NFL Suspends Cowboys’ Trysten Hill

Tuesday, 10:40pm: Hill’s suspension has been reduced from two games to one by NFL-NFLPA appeals officer Derrick Brooks, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

Monday, 3:13pm: The NFL has suspended Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill for the next two games without pay (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero). Hill, who punched Raiders lineman John Simpson after last week’s game, won’t be eligible to return to the roster until Monday Dec. 13.

After the Las Vegas Raiders-Dallas Cowboys game on November 25, you engaged in conduct that this office considers unnecessary roughness and displays a lack of sportsmanship,” VP of Football Operations Jon Runyan wrote in an open letter to Hill. “Specifically, as both teams were shaking hands, you waited more than 50 seconds for your opponent at the 50-yard line. When you located him, you then walked toward him in the opposite direction of your locker room. You both engaged in a verbal chest-to-chest confrontation which you escalated by throwing an open hand punch to his facemask, forcible enough to cause your opponent’s helmet to come off.”

Hill could still appeal the ban and make his case before either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the ex-players who operate as suspension hearing officers. But, barring any changes, Hill will be withheld from the next two games against the Saints and the Washington Football Team.

It’s yet another blow to the Cowboys’ defensive line, though they could have reinforcements in time for Thursday. DeMarcus LawrenceRandy Gregory, and Neville Gallimore have all been designated for return and would be eligible to play against New Orleans.

Saints Cut WR Kevin White, FB Alex Armah

Kevin White‘s stint with the Saints has come to an end. The team has waived the wideout, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The team has also cut fullback Alex Armah, per Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).

White, the seventh-overall pick in the 2015 draft, battled injuries throughout his Bears tenure and later caught on with the Cardinals and 49ers. He managed to get into three games with San Francisco last season without recording a reception, and he ended up getting cut by the squad in August.

He ultimately caught on with New Orleans, and he ended up seeing time in five games (one start) for his new squad. The 29-year-old contributed one 38-yard reception during his time with the Saints, and he ultimately saw more special teams snaps than offensive snaps. The Saints have been without Michael Thomas all season, and their leading receivers, Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway, have combined for only 54 receptions. If White couldn’t break into the Saints’ depth chart, he’ll be hard pressed to find another team that’s willing to give him a shot.

Armah, a former sixth-round pick, spent the first four seasons of his career with the Panthers, appearing in 57 games. He joined the Saints this past offseason and ended up getting into nine games (two starts), collecting 22 yards and one touchdown in six touches. Practice squad player Adam Prentice is the only other fullback in the organization.

Giants Activate Logan Ryan, Place Darnay Holmes On IR

While the Giants are welcoming back one cornerback, another defensive back will be sidelined for the next few weeks. Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets that cornerback Darnay Holmes is heading to injured reserve. Meanwhile, the team will be activating veteran defensive back Logan Ryan from the reserve/COVID-19 list (via Schwartz on Twitter).

[RELATED: Giants QB Daniel Jones Week-To-Week With Neck Injury]

Holmes suffered a rib injury on Sunday that required an overnight stay at the hospital. Now, the 23-year-old will be forced to miss at least the next three Giants games. Holmes was a fourth-round pick by the Giants in 2020, and he started five of his 12 appearances as a rookie. The cornerback has started four of his 11 games this season, collecting 29 tackles, two passes defended, and one interception.

It’s been a few seasons since Ryan played cornerback, but the Giants will still welcome back their veteran safety with open arms. The 30-year-old has missed the past two games for New York, but he otherwise started each of the team’s first nine games. Ryan has collected 72 tackles and two forced fumbles this season.

The hits keep coming for the Giants. Earlier this evening, we learned that quarterback Daniel Jones was likely to be sidelined this weekend as he recovers from a neck strain.

Giants QB Daniel Jones Week-To-Week With Neck Injury

Daniel Jones‘ neck strain will likely force him to miss some time. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Giants quarterback is considered week-to-week and veteran Mike Glennon is expected to start on Sunday against the Dolphins. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY tweets that the starting QB’s status is uncertain, and his status will “depend on how he feels this week.”

Jones suffered the injury during the second play from scrimmage this past weekend against the Eagles. The quarterback ended up staying in the game and completing 19 of his 30 pass attempts for 202 yards and one touchdown (along with another 30 yards on the ground) in a Giants victory.

Jones missed games in each of his first two seasons in the NFL, and it’s bad timing for a struggling Giants offense that’s still managed to win three of their past five games. The former sixth-overall pick has seen some improvements during his junior season, holding a career-high mark in completion percentage (64.3) and a career-low mark in interception percentage.

Glennon stepped in for Jones when the starter exited the Giants’ Week 5 loss with a concussion. The 31-year-old completed 16 of his 25 pass attempts for 196 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The journeyman started five games for the Jaguars last season, throwing seven touchdowns vs. five interceptions. The Giants added some depth to their QB room earlier today when they signed Jake Fromm off the Bills practice squad. New York also has QB Brian Lewerke stashed on their taxi squad.

Chiefs Activate OL Kyle Long

Kyle Long is officially on the Chiefs active roster. The team activated the veteran offensive lineman from the reserve/PUP list today, per ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

Long came out of a one-year retirement to join the Chiefs this past offseason. However, he suffered a lower leg injury in June that ultimately delayed his return to the field. The 32-year-old finally returned to practice earlier this month, and now he’ll be able to join a Chiefs roster that’s making a push toward the playoffs.

Long joined the defending AFC champs on a one-year deal worth up to $5MM in March. Previous to that, the 2013 first-round pick spent his entire seven-year career with the Bears, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and a second-team All-Pro nod in 2014. However, he dealt with a long list of injuries between 2016 and 2019, averaging only 7.5 games per season over that four-year span. After being limited to only four games in 2019, Long announced his retirement.

Long’s versatility means he should see a role for the Chiefs down the stretch. The Chiefs have used three different starters (including Lucas Niang, Mike Remmers, and Andrew Wylie) at right tackle, so the veteran could perhaps provide some stability to that spot when the team returns from their bye this Sunday night.

To make room on the roster, the Chiefs placed running back Jerick McKinnon on injured reserve with a hamstring injury (via Aaron Wilson on Twitter). The veteran joined the Chiefs this past offseason and has seen time in 11 games, collecting 119 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches. He’s also seen a significant amount of time on special teams. Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders also landed on IR.

Stephen Gostkowski Won’t Rule Out NFL Return

While preparing to watch Sunday’s Titans-Patriots game, kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a noteworthy revelation. The 37-year-old isn’t opposed to resuming his NFL career in the future, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss

After an illustrious Patriots career that saw him win three Super Bowls and earn two All-Pro honors, Gostkowski signed with the Titans in 2020. He played in 15 games, converting 18 of 26 field goals and 46 of 48 extra points.

Any potential return would likely come no earlier than the 2022 season, as Gostkowski is currently sidelined by a Coxsackie viral infection. “I’m not in good enough shape”, he said. “But I’m not closing the door of never playing again. It’s just not in my immediate future.”

Gostkowski, collected four Pro Bowl nods with the Patriots from 2006-15 and left as the team’s all-time leading scorer. Across those 14 seasons, there were only two in which he didn’t make at least 82% of his field goal tries.

 

 

Titans Place Monty Rice On IR

The Titans have placed linebacker Monty Rice on injured reserve, according to a team press release. In an injury-marred year, Rice becomes the 18th player to land on the Tennessee’s IR.

The Titans turned to Rice as their starting inside linebacker after losing Rashaan Evans and David Long to injury. Now, they’ll have to look elsewhere for support, alongside fellow fill-in Jayon Brown. That could mean an uptick in work for backups Dylan Cole and Nick Dzubnar.

It’s a disappointing setback for the rookie ‘backer, as he was starting to gain favor with head coach Mike Vrabel.

He started by finishing [on special teams]…running his guy and taking care of the returner, so I think he started to build some confidence there. Then he made some tackles on kickoff and really started to build some confidence there. [Now,] he’s got an opportunity to play linebacker,” Vrabel said recently (via Jim Wyatt of the team website). “He is continuing to improve and hopefully we can start to really see some more progress.”

Rice, a third-round rookie, could theoretically return later this year after sitting out for at least three games. So far, the Georgia product has 36 stops on the year, plus one pass defensed and a quarterback hit.

Falcons Designate Steven Means For Return

The Falcons have designated defensive end Steven Means for return from injured reserve, per a club announcement. Means will be eligible to practice with the team starting today and return to action anytime in the next 21 days.

Means, 31, originally caught on with the Falcons in September 2018. Since then, he’s re-upped twice and started in 23 of his 32 games for Atlanta. This year, he was first-string at outside linebacker through eight games, up until he suffered a knee injury.

Fortunately, this was a less serious injury than the Achilles tear that cost him all of 2019. Now that he’s healthy, he’ll look to reprise his mostly solid work from 2020, which included 38 total stops and three sacks.

Once Means is back, he should resume his starting job with support from Ade Ogundeji and James Vaughters. He’ll also look to improve on his first half work – through his eight games, Pro Football Focus had him ranked near the bottom of all qualified edge defenders.

To make room for Means, the Falcons have waived cornerback Chris Williamson.

Kevin Stefanski To Continue Calling Browns’ Plays

While the Browns search for answers on offense during their bye week, at least one thing will remain the same. Head coach Kevin Stefanski will retain play-calling duties rather than handing them to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, as Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot writes. 

“We talk about a lot of things every single week,’’ Stefanski said in his press conference Monday. “I’m comfortable with the communication that goes on throughout the week and on gameday. The offensive staff is outstanding, especially [offensive line coach] Bill [Callahan] and Alex throughout the game, so I’m comfortable with how we are doing it right now. We just have to be better. I have to be better. That’s the truth. We just have to find ways to stay on the field and get sevens when we are down there in the red zone.”

The Browns currently sit 19th in the NFL averaging 21.2 points per game, and rank 16th when it comes to yards per game at 372. Since their decisive win over the Bengals in Week 9, Cleveland has put up point totals of 7, 13 and 10, respectively. Clearly, the removal of oft-maligned wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has not helped quarterback Baker Mayfield engineer a more efficient passing attack. Meanwhile, the Browns totaled just 40 rushing yards on Sunday night against Baltimore, even with Kareem Hunt back in the lineup.

After the bye, the Browns will have an immediate chance at revenge against the Ravens at home in Week 14.

Washington To Sign K Brian Johnson

The Washington Football Team is moving on to its fourth kicker of the season. In the wake of Joey Slye‘s injury, Washington has agreed to sign kicker Brian Johnson off the Bears’ practice squad (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

[RELATED: Washington K Joey Slye To Miss Time]

Johnson, a Virginia Tech alum, actually succeeded Slye as the Hokies’ kicker. He kept that job from 2018 through 2020 and sank 20 of his 26 field goals as a senior. After graduation, he hooked on with the Bears’ taxi squad, before being plucked by the Saints in October.

Johnson went on to make all eight of his field goals across four games. Unfortunately, he also bricked three point-after attempts across his last two games in New Orleans, including a pair that cost them a win over the Titans. The Saints moved on to Brett Maher, but Johnson will have a chance at redemption in D.C. He’ll try to match Slye’s mostly solid work in Washington — 6-of-6 on FGs with only one missed/blocked XP.