Richie Incognito Won’t Return This Season

Richie Incognito is done for the year. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden revealed today that the offensive lineman underwent “season-ending foot surgery” (per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez).

Incognito landed on IR in late September after suffering an Achilles injury. The veteran avoided a tear, so there was some optimism he’d return to the lineup once his stay on the IR ended. Instead, the 37-year-old decided to go under the knife.

“I hate to admit that, but we’ve tried everything we can,” Gruden said. “Richie’s tried everything he can to get back on the field. His season is over.”

The Raiders took a risk on the polarizing Incognito last offseason, and Incognito’s impressive performance ultimately earned him a two-year $14MM extension. As Gutierrez points out, the organization has only seen three snaps from their pricey offensive line grouping (which also includes Kolton Miller, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown).

Fortunately, the Raiders have received solid production from Incognito’s backup, Denzelle Good. Gruden referred to the former seventh-rounder as the team’s “unsung hero,” while quarterback Derek Carr declared him the team MVP (per Gutierrez).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/23/20

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Las Vegas Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/23/20

Today’s minor moves:

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers

Raiders Add Vic Beasley To Practice Squad

The Raiders are stocking up on former Falcons notables. In addition to adding Takkarist McKinley, the Raiders will also sign edge rusher Vic Beasley, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). While McKinley seems ticketed for the active roster, Beasley will head to the practice squad.

Despite signing Beasley to a one-year, $9.5MM deal this offseason, the Titans cut ties with him earlier this month. The former first-round pick showed up late to camp, clashed with team brass, and failed to record a single sack as a Titan. While he saw his playing time gradually increase throughout the season, Beasley still mostly produced in a platoon role, finishing with three tackles and one forced fumble in five games.

Despite the underwhelming performance in Tennessee, this represents the ultimate low-risk, high-reward scenario for Jon Gruden & Co. After all, he’s not that far removed from 2016, when he notched 15.5 sacks en route to a 2016 All-Pro selection. He also managed eight sacks in 2019 — good enough to land that ill-fated platform deal in Tennessee. For reference, the Raiders have the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (11), and the rank in the bottom 10 in QB hits, tackles for loss, and sack percentage.

Just moments ago, the Raiders claimed McKinley off waivers from the 49ers. Assuming the defensive end passes his physical (which is a big assumption, considering his failed physicals with the Bengals and 49ers), the 25-year-old should get a spot on the active roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Claim DE Takk McKinley

The Raiders have claimed defensive end Takkarist McKinley off waivers, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This marks McKinley’s fourth NFL team this month. After he was dropped by the Falcons, he failed physicals with both the Bengals and 49ers.

The Niners were still said to be interested in the former-first rounder, but they couldn’t find room for him on the active roster while he nurses a groin injury. McKinley has 17.5 career sacks to his credit, though just one of those have come in 2020. The UCLA product has had an up-and-down career as a pro. He registered 13 sacks over his first two seasons but, since 2019, he’s logged just 4.5 in total.

There’s plenty for Jon Gruden and the Raiders to like about him still, especially since he notched seven QB hits in just 85 snaps for the Falcons this year. As a team, the Raiders have collected only 46 QB hits, which is a bottom-10 mark this season.

Maxx Crosby and Arden Key are currently slotted in as the Raiders’ starting defensive ends. McKinley will likely have to battle with several other veterans for playing time, a grouping that includes Carl Nassib and practice squad players Chris Smith and David Irving.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule says Christian McCaffrey remains week-to-week with an injured shoulder. But, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that he’s pretty unlikely to play this week against the Vikings.

McCaffrey has barely been on the field this year, thanks to his injured shoulder and his previous ankle issue. Up until 2020, CMC had perfect attendance for the Panthers. With the playoffs likely out of reach, the Panthers’ decision on McCaffrey’s status will involve more than just his present condition. The star running back — recently signed to a whopping four-year, $64MM extension – could theoretically be held out with an eye on next year. The Panthers haven’t addressed such a scenario on record, however.

Mike Davis has done a solid job in McCaffrey’s stead, averaging 4.0 yards per carry on the year. His last outing — 64 yards on 19 carries — was less productive than usual, but the Panthers still cruised past the Lions by a score of 20-0, thanks in part to Davis’ early one-yard touchdown.

The Panthers have a Week 13 bye coming up, which could allow for CMC to return on Dec. 13 vs. the Broncos.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Cut LB Kiko Alonso

The 49ers have waived linebacker Kiko Alonso with a failed physical designation, per a team press release. Meanwhile, defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The Niners acquired Alonso earlier this month in the deal that sent Kwon Alexander to the Saints. The trade was mostly done as a salary dump, though they were hoping to get some value out of Alonso (as well as the conditional fifth-rounder).

Alonso started for the Dolphins between 2016-18 and was mostly healthy, averaging more than 115 tackles per season. He was a little less productive for the Saints in 2019 and, unfortunately, ended his season with an ACL tear in the Wild Card round. The 30-year-old has yet to see the field in 2020 and it’s not clear if he’ll be able to suit up for anyone this season.

Last time out, the Niners fell to Alonso’s old squad. Next, they’ll face the Rams in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Place Greg Olsen On IR, Promote Snacks Harrison

The Seahawks have formally placed tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve. To fill his spot on the active roster, they’ve promoted defensive tackle Damon Harrison. In addition, running back Bo Scarbrough has also been parked on IR.

Olsen was diagnosed with plantar fascia issue last week, an injury that could prevent him from returning this season. For his part, Olsen is hoping to recover quickly and return in the playoffs, though that would probably require the Seahawks to reach the NFC title game or the Super Bowl. With that in mind, it’s possible that the 35-year-old has played his final down in the NFL. Olsen has flirted with retirement for the last few years and he has a gig waiting for him at FOX Sports whenever he decides to hang ’em up.

Harrison, a former All-Pro nose tackle, hooked on with Seattle’s practice squad in October. After taking some time to get back into playing shape, Snacks is ready to be a contributor on clear running downs. In his peak years with the Jets, Giants, and Lions, Harrison was one of the game’s premiere run stuffers. He’s also been able to get after the quarterback when needed, as shown by his eleven career sacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles To Place Cre’Von LeBlanc On IR

The Eagles are set to place Cre’Von LeBlanc on injured reserve, as NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. LeBlanc will be held out for at least three weeks while he heals up from a high ankle sprain.

The FAU product has appeared in nine games for the Birds this year, mostly in a reserve role. To date, he’s registered 22 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. He’s been shuffled on and off of the Eagles’ roster since 2018, appearing in 21 total games with six starts.

LeBlanc isn’t exactly a star player, but he’s been a key player in the slot and a regular with the punt return team. With Craig James done for the year, they’re somewhat limited on options. Practice squader Grayland Arnold could be one option to replace LeBlanc, though he’s more of a safety than a corner.

Miraculously, the Eagles find themselves atop the NFC East with a 3-6-1 record. A win on Monday night against the Seahawks could put additional space between them and the rest of the pack.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Sign Pierre Desir

Pierre Desir fell upwards. After being released by the lowly Jets earlier this month, the cornerback has agreed to sign with the Ravens (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). The deal will become official once Desir clears COVID-19 testing.

The Jets signed Desir to a one-year deal worth $4MM, plus incentives. He was on the field for nearly every down, but, like the rest of the Jets’ D, he wasn’t terribly effective. To date, he’s registered 47 tackles, eight passes defended, and three interceptions, but he often struggled in coverage.

On the flipside, the Jets’ front seven wasn’t putting much pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It’s also worth noting that Desir was the NFL’s second-best cornerback in 2019, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He’ll now join a secondary that has been mostly solid throughout the year, despite some hiccups against the Titans. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Chuck Clark struggled on Sunday, but they figure to be much more reliable going forward.

The Ravens will have Desir on Thursday night against the Steelers, but they won’t have running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins available. Both players have been ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL News & NFL Rumors