Austin Blythe

Injury Roundup: Hilton, Lions, Bolts, Rams

It’s looking like the Colts‘ passing attack will have to operate without its top weapon Sunday. T.Y. Hilton drew a doubtful designation on Indianapolis’ Friday injury report. He did not practice all week. The eighth-year wideout left the Colts’ Week 3 win with a quadriceps injury, and although the Raiders enter Week 4 ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA, the Colts went 0-2 without Hilton last season. They are already down previous starter Devin Funchess, who sits on IR. The Colts also ruled Darius Leonard out for a second straight week. The All-Pro linebacker remains in concussion protocol.

Here is the latest from the Week 4 injury front:

  • Matthew Stafford popped up on the Lions‘ injury report Friday; he’s listed as questionable with a hip malady. While Stafford should be expected to play, given that he’s played through injuries in recent years and holds the league’s third-longest active start streak among QBs with 131, this is a less-than-ideal scenario going into a key inter-conference matchup with the Chiefs. Rookie UDFA David Blough has been Stafford’s backup this season, though Jeff Driskel is now on Detroit’s 53-man roster.
  • That matchup will not include Chiefs starting running back Damien Williams, who will miss a second straight game with a knee ailment. LeSean McCoy put together two full practices this week and will likely team up with Darrel Williams, as he did last week, in Detroit.
  • Good news for the Rams‘ offense. Sean McVay said both Austin Blythe and Tyler Higbee will be available against the Buccaneers on Sunday, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Blythe missed Los Angeles’ Week 3 game with a sprained ankle, while Higbee has been sidelined with a lung contusion.
  • Another Chargers game will unfold without their primary kicker option. The Bolts ruled out Michael Badgley for a fourth straight contest. Punter Ty Long‘s multipurpose afternoons will continue. Long made both of his field goal tries last week after missing two in Week 2.
  • Additionally for the Bolts, they will be without Mike Williams. He’s been declared out with a back injury. Travis Benjamin will head to Miami as doubtful to play, meaning Dontrelle Inman and Geremy Davis stand as the Chargers’ only two healthy auxiliary wideouts. This marks Williams’ second injury of the season. A knee problem plagued the third-year target earlier this month but did not force him to miss any time.
  • The Vikings‘ No. 2-ranked rushing attack will be tested in Chicago this week, and right guard starter Josh Kline will not play a part in the NFC North contest. The free agent acquisition will miss Sunday’s game with a concussion that kept him out of practice this week. This will end Kline’s 49-start streak. Veteran Dakota Dozier will start, per Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dozier has started eight games in his six-season career, which included a Week 2 start in place of Pat Elflein.

Injury Notes: Winston, Rams, Cowboys, Pack

Here is the latest from the injury front at the midweek point, beginning with another NFC South quarterback encountering injury trouble.

  • Jameis Winston is now battling a foot injury. The Buccaneers quarterback, who is in a contract year, appears on the team’s first Week 3 injury report with this issue. Winston joins Drew Brees and Cam Newton as injured NFC South quarterbacks, but his malady doesn’t appear to be nearly as severe. Winston practiced fully on Wednesday and appears in line to face the Giants.
  • Austin Blythe needed a cart to leave the field Sunday at Los Angeles Coliseum, but the Rams‘ starting right guard looks to have dodged significant trouble. The fourth-year blocker said (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry, on Twitter) he suffered a low ankle sprain. Blythe is not certain how much time he will miss, but considering how he left the field, this may have been the best possible outcome. If he cannot return for Sunday’s game in Cleveland, 2018 sixth-rounder Jamil Demby would be in line to start.
  • Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods suffered an MCL sprain in Week 2, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Second-round pick Trysten Hill stands to be called to action if Woods is out against the Dolphins on Sunday. Hill has yet to be active this season. Woods started 15 games as Dallas’ nose tackle last season and has reprised that role this year.
  • Darnell Savage left Sunday’s Packers-Vikings game in a walking boot, but the rookie safety looks to have received good news. Savage shed the walking boot, per The Athletic’s Matt Schneiderman (on Twitter), and has been diagnosed with a shin injury. It looks like he will be good to go for Week 3’s game against the Broncos.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/16/17

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: DL B.J. Dubose

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

Minor AFC Transactions: 5/15/17

Teams are doing lots of spring cleaning today, so we’ll split the moves into two separate posts for each conference. First up, the AFC:

  • The Raiders announced the signing of safety Marcus McWilson. A Kentucky product, McWilson played in 13 games for the Wildcats in 2016, racking up 108 tackles (4.5 for loss) and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
  • Following suit on a busy transaction day for fringe roster cogs, the Ravens added four UDFAs to their offseason roster. Baltimore added linebacker Randy Allen (South Alabama), wide receiver Aaron Bailey (Northern Iowa), defensive back Jaylen Hill (Jacksonville State) and tackle Roubbens Joseph (Buffalo), Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.
  • The Browns signed defensive backs Donte Carey and Najee Murray. Both players participated in the team’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. To make room, the team waived offensive lineman Josh Boutte.
  • The Titans signed defensive lineman Jimmy Staten, a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2014. In addition to Staten, they inked defensive lineman Cameron Robbins (Northwestern), linebacker Johnny Ragin (Oregon), cornerback Trevon Hartfield (Southwestern Oklahoma State), and kicker Jordan Gay (Centre). Staten, Robbins, Ragin and Hartfield all took part in the team’s rookie minicamp. To make space, the Titans waived defensive lineman Roderick Henderson and linebacker Reshard Cliett.
  • The Jets announced the signing of linebacker Jevaris Jones and released fellow linebacker Austin Calitro.
  • The Colts signed free agent guard Blake Muir and four undrafted free agents: cornerback Dante Blackmon, safety Tyson Graham, wide receiver Al-Damion Riles, and offensive tackle Andrew Wylie. To make room for the new players, the team parted ways with center/guard Austin Blythe (a 2016 seventh-round pick) and cornerback Frankie Williams. The Colts also waived three 2017 UDFAs: wide receiver Jerome Lane, cornerback Chris Lyles, and guard Chris Muller.
  • The Bills have signed linebackers Abner Logan and Anthony Harrell while waiving safety Jeremy Tyler and linebacker Junior Sylvestre.

Colts Sign Four Draft Picks

After signing first-round pick Ryan Kelly on Wednesday night, the Colts have agreed to terms with four more players from their 2016 draft class. The team has announced deals with fourth-round defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, fifth-round offensive tackle Joe Haeg, seventh-round linebacker Trevor Bates, and seventh-round center Austin Blythe.

Ridgeway, an early-entry player from Texas, broke out in his sophomore year with 47 total tackles, 6 sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss. In his junior year, he had 45 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. Those numbers weren’t quite as gaudy as 2014, but they were enough to draw the interest of the Colts around the middle of the draft.

Those rookies will join a Colts team that has now welcomed 21 undrafted free agents. To help make room for their new additions, the Colts waived offensive lineman Khaled Holmes and three other players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.