Adrian Phillips

Chargers Activate Derwin James, Adrian Phillips

While the Chargers’ playoff hopes are dim, they’ll be receiving some much-needed reinforcement for the stretch run. The team announced today that they’ve activated safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips from injured reserve.

James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in August after a screw that was originally inserted during his freshman year at Florida State bent back. The injury required a surgical operation, and a new screw has since been placed. James has been running without any pain for several weeks now, and he presumably won’t have any limitations tomorrow against the Broncos. The 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft started all 16 games for Los Angeles during his rookie campaign, posting three interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks during that time. Pro Football Focus graded James as the league’s seventh-best safety, and he also garnered a first-team All-Pro nod.

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in a September loss to the Lions, knocking him out of action. The 27-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, with the hybrid safety/linebacker finishing with 94 tackles, nine passes defended, and one interception. He had compiled 14 tackles in two games this season before going down with an injury.

With James and fellow safeties Adrian Phillips and Nasir Adderley on IR, the Chargers have primarily deployed Rayshawn Jenkins and undrafted rookie Roderic Teamer in the back end. So far, the results have been lackluster; after finishing 8th in defensive DVOA in 2018, Los Angeles now ranks 25th in the same metric.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Designate Adrian Phillips For Return

Adrian Phillips is on his way back to the Bolts. On Thursday, the Chargers designated the safety for return from the injured reserve list. 

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in a September loss to the Lions, knocking him out of action. The Chargers have remained optimistic about his chances to return this year, however, and he’s primed to do just that. The sixth-year pro now has a three-week window to practice and get ready to play. If the Chargers do not activate him within that timeframe, he will not be eligible to play this year.

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’ve had to get by without him and other key defenders which has led to some mixed results. The Chargers managed back-to-back wins against the Bears and Packers recently, but Thursday night’s loss to the Raiders has them at 4-6 and on the verge of falling out of the playoff chase.

Things won’t get much easier for the Chargers – they’ll face the Chiefs on Monday night in Mexico City and quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he’s feeling better than he has all season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Place Adrian Phillips On IR

Adrian Phillips will join Derwin James on the Chargers’ IR list. The Bolts will place Phillips on IR, Anthony Lynn confirmed, shelving the recently re-signed safety for at least eight weeks.

Phillips suffered a broken forearm in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. The Chargers can bring back both players from IR, but James will obviously reside atop this figurative queue. Phillips’ status will likely depend on how the Bolts’ injury situation looks at the midseason point, though Lynn did confirm the sixth-year player will be an IR-return candidate, per’s Eric Williams (on Twitter).

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year, and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’re down two key defenders as they head into Week 3 against the Texans. A part-time starter in five previous Bolts slates, Phillips opened this season with the first unit in both games.

Los Angeles will be down to Rayshawn Jenkins, second-round pick Nasir Adderley and Jaylen Watkins at safety for the time being.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Adrian Phillips Out Indefinitely

More bad news for the Chargers’ secondary. Safety Adrian Phillips, who has been filling in for the injured Derwin James, suffered a broken forearm during Sunday’s loss to the Lions, Adam Schefter of tweets. He’s out indefinitely and the team will not have a clear read on his timetable until doctors take a closer look at his situation. 

[RELATED: Chargers Place Derwin James On IR]

Phillips was rolling to start the season – he had six tackles against Detroit and posted eight in the Bolts’ 13-10 overtime win over the Colts in the opener. But, unfortunately, he cracked his arm while taking Kerryon Johnson down on Sunday. It’s possible that he can still return this season, but he’ll be out for several weeks, at minimum.

Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last year and the Bolts were excited to see what the hybrid safety/linebacker could do in 2019. Instead, they’re down two key defenders as they head into Week 3 against the Texans.

Meanwhile, they’re keeping their fingers crossed on starting cornerback Michael Davis, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. If Jaylen Watkins is needed to take the place of Davis, then Desmond King may be called upon to cover for Phillips.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Chiefs, Brown, Bolts, Rams

Andy Reid has worked with an MVP before (Brett Favre) and coached Pro Bowlers in Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Alex Smith. But Chiefs GM Brett Veach makes the case the seventh-year Kansas City HC has never had the kind possibilities for creativity, without limitations, that Patrick Mahomes provides.

I think Andy understands that the talent he has in this kid is like nothing he’s ever had before,” Veach said, via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star. “Not to say he didn’t have good quarterbacks before, not to say he didn’t have a great rapport or relationship with them, but I think Andy’s creativity is not restricted now in any way, not by mental, not by arm strength, not by mobility. Because sometimes you get super-smart guys, and maybe they don’t have this … or you get guys that don’t have this, but they have that.”

Over the course of Reid’s Chiefs tenure, he has steadily incorporated college concepts into his offense. He helped coax the best season of Smith’s career in 2017, but Mahomes’ runaway MVP season obviously established a new bar for the Reid offense’s modern capabilities. In Pryor’s expansive article detailing the relationship between Reid and Mahomes, Veach adds the 21st-year HC not having to scrap any of his play designs separates his partnership with Mahomes.

Here is the latest out of the West divisions, continuing first with (a given) the Antonio Brown saga:

  • Brown is about out of options, and Tom Pelissero of notes (on Twitter) Mike Mayock‘s comments Sunday set the stage for potential Raiders discipline if the mercurial receiver does not practice soon. Another Brown option: a lawsuit that would allow him an injunction, thus enabling him for a time to wear his old helmet while the case plays out. That would be a rather extreme response, especially coming after a report indicating Brown was unlikely to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. But that was before NFL- and NFLPA-backed testing struck down Brown’s 2011 Schutt AiR Advantage helmet solution bid failed. Brown could still appeal, but it does not seem probable he would prevail. The Raiders’ dress-rehearsal game is Thursday; it is quite possible, if not likely, Brown will not play in the preseason.
  • Derwin James‘ absence will test the Chargers, but it makes their March re-signing of Adrian Phillips all the more important. The sixth-year safety/All-Pro special-teamer made a big difference playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Chargers’ Round 1 win over the Ravens, and Eric Williams of notes he will receive first crack at replacing James. Phillips (94 tackles in 2018 before a two-turnover wild-card performance) started Sunday’s preseason game against the Saints.
  • The contract-year statuses of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters may force the Rams to consider the big picture when finalizing their roster. Les Snead could well keep an extra corner this season because of the potential 2020 departures of the team’s starting corners, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic writes (subscription required). In addition to Talib and Peters, slot starter Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill and third-round pick David Long will be roster locks. That leaves one or two spots left for a host of players who have shown well in camp, with Bonsignore singling out 2018 waiver claim Darious Williams and 2017 UDFA Kevin Peterson as the leaders to round out the corner corps. The latter missed all of 2018 due to injury, but both players have had standout camps. In addition to the Colts, Patriots and Saints, the Rams may begin receiving trade calls on some corners.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Chargers To Bring Back Adrian Phillips

Adrian Phillips enjoyed a promising contract year, and the Chargers want to see if can build further on it. The Bolts and Williams agreed to a new contract Friday, the team announced.

The sixth-year safety played extensively as a hybrid linebacker last season, being one of the linchpins of the Chargers’ defensive back-heavy alignment that keyed their first-round win over the Ravens.

Prior to his tour de force playoff game — six tackles, three passes defensed, an interception and a fumble recovery — Phillips earned first-team All-Pro honors for his special teams work. Working as a part-time starter last season, Phillips made 94 tackles. He has played with the Chargers throughout his career.

The Bolts evidently liked what they had at linebacker, having re-signed both Phillips and Denzel Perryman. Tom Telesco identified linebacker as a place the Bolts would target for upgrades this offseason. The Bolts also signed Thomas Davis, further fortifying that unit.

With Perryman and Davis in the fold, and Kyzir White due back from injury, it’s not certain if Phillips will continue to work on the defensive second level. But it would make sense to continue the linebacker experiment — given how well it went in key spots last season. If nothing else, the Chargers have their top special-teamer back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Re-Sign Adrian Phillips

The Chargers have re-signed safety Adrian Phillips, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, the club announced.

An original round RFA tender for Phillips would have been worth $1.907MM, so the Titans presumably signed him to a cheaper pact. However, RFA tenders are non-guaranteed, so players often have incentive to accept a reduced overall rate in exchange for some level of guarantees.

Phillips, 25, appeared in 15 games and more starts for Los Angeles in 2017. He will provide depth in the event fellow safety Tre Boston does not re-sign with the Bolts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/10/17

Rounding up some of this week’s tender decisions:






Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/15

Let’s round up Wednesday’s minor 53-man roster moves from around the NFL:

  • To make room for Mostert (see below), the Browns waived wideout Darius Jennings, tweets Mary Kay Cabot of The writer expects Jennings to return to the team’s practice squad.
  • After having claimed Davis (see below), the Colts released linebacker Edwin Jackson, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • Following a busy day of transactions, the Patriots signed defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen (via Wilson on Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • The Colts have filled the 53rd spot on their roster by claiming safety and special-teamer Akeem Davis off waivers from the Seahawks (Twitter link via Kevin Bowen of
  • The Dolphins have elevated quarterback Logan Thomas from their practice squad to their active roster, cutting veteran offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach to accommodate the move, the team announced today (via Twitter). Per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), the move was motivated by a desire to protect Thomas from the Bengals, who attempted to sign him off Miami’s practice squad.
  • The Bengals have officially announced a move that was reported yesterday, confirming (via Twitter) that they’ve promoted quarterback Keith Wenning from their practice squad. Wenning will provide some insurance at the position while Andy Dalton remains on the shelf.
  • Former Colts cornerback Tony Carter is signing with the Saints, tweets Rand Getlin of the NFL Network. Meanwhile, Kristian Garic of WWL 870AM reports (via Twitter) that running back and kick returner Marcus Murphy will be placed on IR by New Orleans due to an ankle injury, so that may be the corresponding move for Carter’s signing.
  • A day after he was cut by the Ravens, RB/KR Raheem Mostert has been claimed off waivers by the division-rival Browns, according to agent Brett Tessler (via Twitter). It’s been an eventful season for Mostert, who was signed by the Dolphins off the Eagles’ practice squad, then claimed off waivers from Miami by Baltimore.
  • The Titans have officially placed injured running back Dexter McCluster on IR, using the open roster spot to sign safety Josh Aubrey from their practice squad, tweets Jim Wyatt of
  • The Chargers have filled their two open roster spots by bringing back a pair of familiar faces, re-signing safety Adrian Phillips and quarterback Brad Sorensen, according to a team release.