Aaron Ripkowski

Extra Points: Sanu, Brown, Bears, Lock

The Patriots‘ revolving receiver cast may be set for more adjustments. Mohamed Sanu may well be battling a high ankle sprain, according to Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston. While that is not confirmed, the recent trade acquisition did not practice Wednesday and is listed on New England’s injury report. A high ankle sprain would stand to sideline Sanu for multiple games. The Pats have cycled through numerous receiver combinations this season, with Julian Edelman being the only constant. Phillip Dorsett is in the Pats’ concussion protocol, meaning Edelman’s supporting cast against the Cowboys may be fronted by rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers.

Here is the latest from around the NFL, moving first to a player not currently in the league.

  • Antonio Brown launched a countersuit against Britney Taylor, the first of two women to make sexual misconduct claims against the free agent wide receiver. Taylor filed a civil suit against Brown earlier this year, alleging sexual assault, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports Brown’s case will center around defamation and interference with NFL contract and endorsement opportunities. Brown remains hopeful the NFL will clear him soon; he met with the league last week. But a recent report gave Brown a long-odds chance of playing again this season.
  • Mitchell Trubisky was a full participant at Bears practice Wednesday, despite being removed from Sunday night’s game with a hip injury. Matt Nagy said he does not intend to bench his starter and plans to play him this week against the Giants. “We want him to be out there this week as the starter,” Nagy said, via J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m hoping that’s the case. … These types of injuries, you get to a point where they are literally day to day and it becomes about where you’re at with the pain and how we manage that.”
  • Brandon Allen has helped spark the Broncos‘ offense, but the team would stand to benefit from Drew Lock debuting soon. Vic Fangio added an interesting stance Wednesday, indicating he does not think it’s “vitally important” the rookie passer plays this season, via Mike Klis of 9News. However, the Broncos do plan to activate Lock from IR either next week or in Week 14, per Klis. Denver selected Lock in Round 2 but saw its Joe Flacco investment fail, leading to more uncertainty at a long-troublesome position for the franchise. The Broncos could again be linked to top quarterbacks in the 2020 draft, just as they were in 2018 and ’19.
  • One of the Falcons‘ IR-return slots will go toward a punter. Longtime punter Matt Bosher returned to practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). Atlanta’s ninth-year punter cannot return to action until Week 13.
  • After placing fullback Nick Bawden on IR, the Lions worked out several fullbacks. Tommy Bohanon, Derrick Coleman, Tre Madden, Aaron Ripkowski auditioned for the Lions, per Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter).

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/19

Here are Wednesday’s updates from the workout circuit. Unless otherwise noted, all links go to the Twitter account of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Jones, Michael To Work Out For XFL

Both Landry Jones and Christine Michael enjoyed short stays on AFC South rosters last season. Jones caught on with the Raiders this offseason before a May release. Each will now explore a new option.

Jones, Michael and former Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski are three known players who will work out for the XFL at an upcoming showcase, the restarting league announced recently (via Twitter links). All three will work out in Dallas, which is one of eight sites where these summer showcases will take place.

While the Dallas and Houston auditions are this weekend, the other six XFL cities — New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle, Tampa Bay, St. Louis — will run theirs between June 14 and July 13. There will likely be a host of familiar names at these tryouts, considering what happened to the Alliance of American Football earlier this year.

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said the teams will start signing players after their respective showcases but added there will be some type of out clauses for them to accept NFL offers. The XFL also plans to have a dispersal draft in September or October. The purpose of said draft will be divvying up the players who do not make NFL rosters this summer.

If a guy signs with us and then three weeks later, prior to our draft, has an opportunity to go to an NFL team, we’ll say, ‘Take the opportunity,’” Luck said, via Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “After the draft, we’ll expect those players to stay. If they think they have an opportunity in the NFL they have to do that before the draft.”

The Jaguars briefly employed Jones last year but cut the longtime Steelers backup after a three-week stay. The Raiders opted for Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman over the 30-year-old veteran.

Michael did not participate in any known workouts after the Colts cut him in late September. Michael, 28, enjoyed a productive stint with the 2016 Seahawks (469 rushing yards, six touchdowns) but spent the 2017 season on IR and most of the ’18 campaign unemployed. The Chiefs signed Ripkowski, a three-year Packers fullback, to a reserve/futures deal this year but cut him after the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/4/19

The latest minor moves from around the NFL:

Cleveland Browns

  • Waived: LB D’Juan Hines, DE Lenny Jones (injury settlement)

Dallas Cowboys

  • Waived: OG Dustin Stanton

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Waived: FB Aaron Ripkowski, DT Henry Mondeaux, WR Josh Crockett

Ripkowski is notable for being the Packers’ fullback for three seasons from 2015-17. None of Mondeaux, Crockett, or Stanton have ever appeared in a regular season game. Hines appeared in 13 games with the Browns last season playing exclusively on special teams, while Jones has been bouncing around various practice squads the past few years.

 

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/31/19

Here are Thursday’s reserve/futures contracts:

Kansas City Chiefs

Ripkowski is most well known for spending a few years as the Packers’ fullback. Green Bay drafted him in the sixth round in 2015, but cut him this past September. For his career Ripkowski has rushed 39 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns, with 17 catches for 103 receiving yards and another touchdown. The Chiefs already have Pro Bowler Anthony Sherman at fullback, but he is set to be a free agent this March, so perhaps the Chiefs are signing Ripkowski as insurance in case Sherman departs.

 

NFL Workout Updates: 10/31/18

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

NFL Workout Updates: 10/29/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise specified.

Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFC North Notes: Rodgers, Vikings, Lions

The Vikings were not the first team that sought Dan Bailey‘s services this season. Although he’s in Minnesota now, other franchises wanted to sign the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey agreed to terms with the Vikings on a one-year, $2MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). However, the 30-year-old specialist also turned down offers worth double that on multiyear deals, Rapoport adds. The Jets brought in Bailey to work out just after the Cowboys cut him, but nothing came to fruition. Gang Green may have been one of the teams that presented a better offer, but that’s not known. Nevertheless, Bailey will replace Daniel Carlson, whom Mike Zimmer said it was not difficult to cut after his performance in Minnesota’s Week 2 tie in Green Bay.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC North:

  • Aaron Rodgers did not exit the Packers‘ Week 2 game with any new discomfort on his injured left knee, Mike McCarthy said (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Rodgers is “obviously sore,” and McCarthy does not have a read on whether his quarterback’s condition is better or worse than at this point last week. But it’s encouraging for the Packers that Rodgers didn’t sustain any additional damage while clearly playing hurt.
  • Carlson’s cut will save the Vikings $200K, though the Bailey addition will negate those savings. Only Carlson’s signing bonus ($248K), plus his base salary through two games, will count against Minnesota’s cap, per Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). The Vikings are up against the cap but managed to add Bailey, Aldrick Robinson and Tom Johnson in the past two days.
  • Robinson will only make the league minimum, and no guarantees exist in the soon-to-be 30-year-old wide receiver’s Vikings pact, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The former Redskins, Falcons and 49ers pass-catcher now comprises part of the Vikes’ receiving corps. Minnesota currently has five receivers on its roster, the same amount it did prior to the Robinson signing. Stacy Coley, a 2017 seventh-rounder, was cut to make room.
  • On a busy day for workouts, the Lions brought in two veteran edge rushers who would slot in as defensive ends in their 4-3 scheme. John Simon and David Bass trekked to Detroit for Tuesday workouts, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). A recent Colts cut, Simon already met with the 49ers and Jets since being released. A six-year veteran, Bass led Jets edge rushers in sacks last season with 3.5. Former Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski also worked out for the Lions today, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Also among the workout contingent: linebacker Tyrone Holmes, fullbacks Jalston Fowler and Jay Prosch, and tight end Donnie Ernsberger, per Balzer. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher visited with the Lions.
  • Former Jets wideout Chad Hansen was among those who auditioned for the Packers today, with Balzer tweeting Shay Fields, Korey Robertson, Taj Williams and quarterback Brogan Roback — of Hard Knocks fame — joined him.

Patriots Work Out WR Kendall Wright

The Patriots hosted wide receiver Kendall Wright and a host of other free agents for workouts on Wednesday, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England currently only has four wide receivers on its roster (excluding special-teamer Matthew Slater), and the club is counting on Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and the recently-claimed Chad Hansen to shoulder the load until Julian Edelman returns from suspension in Week 5. In addition to Hansen, the Patriots claimed former Seahawks pass-catcher Amara Darboh off waivers on Sunday, but waived him with an injury designation on Tuesday.

Wright inked a one-year, $1MM deal with the Vikings this spring that contained $400K guaranteed, but he was cut loose on Sunday. Scheduled to be Minnesota’s slot receiver between Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Wright was beaten out by former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell for a starting spot. Given his lack of special teams prowess, Wright didn’t hold much appeal as a reserve for Minnesota.

That Wright doesn’t play special teams (he has only four career ST snaps) could present a problem for his chances to earn a Patriots roster spot, as well, but New England’s dire need for receiving weapons could trump Wright’s weakness on teams. A former first-round pick, Wright spent five years with the Titans before landing with the Bears in 2017. The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal passing attack, Wright posted a team-leading 59 receptions and 614 yards in his only season with Chicago.

Here’s the full list of free agents that were on hand for New England today, per Reiss:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Move Roster To 53

The Packers have trimmed their roster to 53 by making the following transactions:

Waived/Injured:

Placed on suspended list:

Cut: