C.J. Prosise

NFC Notes: Zeke, Buckner, A. Smith

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is definitely considering a holdout, though Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Elliott has not yet made up his mind one way or another. However, Robinson acknowledged earlier today (via Twitter) that the situation could go sideways fast. He writes that the club has discussed an extension for Elliott for a month or so, but those talks have not progressed in any meaningful way, so Elliott is now exploring his options.

Critically, Robinson notes that Elliott must report to training camp by August 6 in order to get a fourth accrued season towards free agency and preserve his right to hold out next summer if he so chooses. That reality gives Dallas a little more leverage, but Robinson also reports that the two sides are still working towards an agreement and that Elliott’s toying with the idea of a holdout has not yet strained the relationship between player and team.

Elliott and his camp will take this week to assess his options. If Elliott agrees to report on time, perhaps the team will assure him that it will prioritize an extension for him before the regular season. To date, a new deal for Elliott has not been on the top of Dallas’ to-do list.

We rounded up some NFC notes earlier today, and now we’ll dive into more items from the National Football Conference:

  • Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com says that Grady Jarrett‘s 2019 salary cap number will shrink to $11MM as a result of the extension he signed today. That will give the Falcons just shy of $11MM in cap space, which will help them sign Deion Jones to a new deal (Jones’ $1.45MM 2019 cap number will almost certainly go up if and when the club inks him to an extension of his own).
  • The last we heard, the 49ers and DeForest Buckner had not made much progress in extension talks, and Joel Corry of CBS Sports says that the contract San Francisco gave to Dee Ford after acquiring him via trade could be complicating Buckner negotiations (Twitter link). The club is set on using a team-friendly structure just like it always does — and just as it did with Ford — and it will not change its M.O. for Buckner, which is surely a sticking point for 2016’s No. 7 overall pick.
  • Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports that Redskins QB Alex Smith was able to shed the external fixator that had been keeping his leg in place since the horrific injury he suffered last year, an injury that has put his playing career in serious jeopardy. But Smith is committed to returning to the field, and this is a big step in his recovery.
  • Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise may be a release candidate, but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says the oft-injured tailback is very much in the mix for a roster spot. Carroll said, per John Boyle of Seahawks.com, “[Prosise] has been fit throughout, he’s really strong, worked out really hard in the offseason to get his strength right, and his weight is up, but he’s fit and has really been able to do a little bit of everything. So to add him into the competition is really nice. So we’re fired up about C.J. being back.”

Release Candidate: Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise

When the Seahawks used a third-round pick on C.J. Prosise in 2016, the former Notre Dame running back looked as though he’d be an integral part of the Seattle offense. Penciled into a backfield that also included Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls, Prosise was viewed as a capable runner and a valuable receiver, a dual threat back who could contribute in multiple facets of the game.

But Prosise simply hasn’t been able to stay on the field. He showed flashes during his rookie campaign, especially during a Week 9 nine start in which he handled 17 carries for 66 yards while adding seven receptions for 87 yards. However, Prosise fractured his scapula in the Seahawks’ next contest and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. An ankle injury ended his season in 2017, and multiple ailments (abdomen, groin, and hip flexor) landed him on IR in 2018.

The injuries haven’t stopped in 2019. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll revealed in March that Prosise had recently undergone surgery. And just last month, the now-25-year-old tweaked his hamstring at Seahawks minicamp.

In three seasons with the Seahawks, Prosise’s totals are unsightly. He’s only managed to play in 16 games, rushing 42 times for 192 yards and one touchdown while hauling in 26 catches for 317 yards. Heading into a critical fourth year in Seattle, what are Prosise’s odds of making the Seahawks roster?

Seattle, notably, was the only NFL team to run the ball on more than 50% of its offensive plays in 2019, so the club certainly needs a cavalcade of running backs. But with 2018 starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny locked into roster spots, Prosise will be competing with the likes of J.D. McKissic, Travis Homer, Bo Scarbrough, and Marcelias Sutton for a role.

McKissic is probably Prosise’s main competition, as both offer third-down promise as receiving backs (and both played wide receiver in college). Like Prosise, McKissic has also battled injuries, and he missed the first half of the 2018 campaign with a foot issue. But as recently as 2017, McKissic was productive, posting 34 receptions on 46 targets for 266 yards while ranking as a top-20 back in efficiency in both rushing and receiving, per Football Outsiders.

Another factor working against Prosise is special teams. Prosise has rarely played on teams throughout his pro career, while McKissic has offered at least some special teams capabilities. McKissic is competent in the return game, which could be important if the Seahawks need to give No. 1 wideout Tyler Lockett a breather from return duties.

Given his lengthy injury history and lack of production, Prosise won’t attract much of a trade market. So if he isn’t able to stick on Seattle’s roster, Prosise could be in danger of hitting the waiver wire in early September — or perhaps even sooner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Gates, Matthews, Raiders, Cards

While the Chargers have a lesser need at the tight end position than they did when they brought Antonio Gates back for a 16th season, a 17th Gates campaign with the Bolts remains on the radar. But the team has the future Hall of Famer on the back-burner for the time being. Budgetary issues represent the Chargers’ near-future concerns, with Anthony Lynn saying (via Pro Football Talk) Tuesday the team informed Gates it may be a bit before a decision is reached on whether or not to bring him back. Tom Telesco sounded optimistic about a Gates return in January. Hunter Henry stands to be healthy for training camp, and Virgil Green remains on the roster. The Chargers had this duo healthy during free agency last year and bid farewell to Gates. Henry’s injury brought the parties back together, with Gates making $2.5MM. It will be interesting to see if the Bolts have all three on their roster this season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • With Isaiah Crowell set to visit the Raiders on Thursday, the futures of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin may soon become even more uncertain. However, Jon Gruden said (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, subscription required) the door remains open on Lynch. Martin, however, may see Crowell — if Gruden gets his wish and he signs — push him aside. Martin’s asking price may have been too high, per Tafur (on Twitter). The Raiders had wanted to re-sign Martin, but not much has transpired on this front since free agency opened. Martin bounced back after consecutive seasons of 2.9 yards per carry, averaging 4.2 per tote and being the Raiders’ primary rusher following Lynch’s injury.
  • Clay Matthews received a decent mid-level deal to sign with the Rams, with Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) the veteran outside linebacker’s contract is for two years and $12.75MM. Of that total, $6.5MM is guaranteed. Matthews’ deal can max out at $16.75MM. Matthews made more than $10MM in base salary in each of the past two seasons.
  • The NFL has intervened on the Broncos‘ ownership situation. Roger Goodell said 49ers GM Carmen Policy is serving as the arbitrator for the dispute between the Broncos’ Pat Bowlen Trust members and the owner’s two oldest daughters — Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). This process began a few weeks ago. Both Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer have filed a motion to dismiss the arbitration, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). This is Policy’s first time serving as an NFL arbitrator. The Bowlen Trust members are seeking the arbitrator to determine who will take over as the next Broncos owner, among other points (per Jhabvala). Brittany Bowlen has long been viewed as the Trust’s preferred candidate, and the 29-year-old is expected to return to the Broncos this year.
  • A defensive tackle in the Chargers’ 4-3 defense the past two seasons, Darius Philon will return to a role as a 3-4 defensive end with his new team. The Cardinals are planning to use Philon as an end, Kliff Kingsbury said (via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss, on Twitter).
  • C.J. Prosise saw another injury cost him time last season, and Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) Tuesday the fourth-year running back underwent abdominal surgery recently. The Seahawks lost Mike Davis but still have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Carroll remains hopeful Prosise can contribute, but the former third-round pick has gained just 129 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons.

Seahawks To Send C.J. Prosise To IR

A C.J. Prosise IR trip will indeed occur for the Seahawks, who made the decision to send the third-year running back to the season-ending injured list Saturday, per the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta (on Twitter).

The Seahawks will promote linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee from their practice squad to take Prosise’s place.

Mentioned as an IR candidate earlier this week, Prosise has been unable to stay healthy for much of his NFL career. And he hasn’t made much of an impact in Seattle since his rookie season. This year, Prosise played in five games, accumulating just one carry and three receptions. Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny have each leapfrogged the former Notre Dame dual-threat performer on the depth chart.

Chosen in the 2016 third round, Prosise briefly held the role of Seahawks passing-down back. But injuries have prevented Prosise from building on that fleeting promise. Seattle brass pondered moving him to wide receiver earlier this year. One season remains on Prosise’s rookie contract, and it stands to reason he won’t have an easy path to next season’s Seattle roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks’ C.J. Prosise Could Be IR Candidate

Third-year running back C.J. Prosise could end up on injured reserve if the Seahawks need a roster spot, The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta tweets

That “if” is more likely a “when,” as linebacker Mychal Kendricks is expected to return to the team next week following his suspension.

A third-year back, Prosise suffered an abdomen injury in practice this week.

After a promising rookie campaign in 2016, Prosise has struggled to stay healthy and find consistent playing time. So far in 2018, the Notre Dame product has played just 30 snaps and has -3 rushing yards on one carry. That is a far cry from his first year, when he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and 12.2 yards per reception in six games with Seattle.

Though he has not shown it on the field, Prosise’s potential is still alluring to the Seahawks, who have the back signed through 2019. Due to his low cost and Mike Davis hitting free agency at season’s end, it makes sense to place the pass-catching back on IR and see what happens next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Prosise, Cards, Rams, Raiders

After a promising flash as a rookie, C.J. Prosise has not contributed much to the Seahawks‘ cause. He’s picked up 17 touches since December 2016 and is behind Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis on the Seattle running back depth chart. However, the team is discussing a position change for the third-year back. Pete Carroll said (via Pro Football Talk) his coaching staff is examining a possible Prosise switch to wide receiver, citing his background at the position in college. Prosise was a wideout at Notre Dame before being switched to the backfield. He caught 29 passes for 516 yards in 2014. The Seahawks are down Doug Baldwin for perhaps multiple weeks, and they have just four healthy wide receivers.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions, shifting to a running back who is also quite adept at the receiver role.

  • David Johnson is now the NFL’s second-highest-paid running back, holding a substantial lead over the No. 3 player in this hierarchy, and ranks close to the top in terms of fully guaranteed money, too. Johnson’s three-year, $39MM Cardinals extension will come with $24.682MM fully guaranteed at signing, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets. Adding in the amount guaranteed for injury increases the deal’s guarantees to $31MM, per Corry, who adds offset language is included in this contract. Johnson’s $24MM-plus full guarantee leads all running backs on veteran contracts, surpassing Todd Gurley‘s $21.9MM in guarantees.
  • Martavis Bryant is indeed back with the Raiders, as Jon Gruden suggested he could be. An illness and general inconsistency during camp led to Bryant being a preseason cut, Gruden said (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, on Twitter). Gruden said the perpetual suspension risk, who may or may not be facing another ban, is more focused and may suit up for the team on Sunday in Denver.
  • In addition to the Raiders’ interest in signing top free agent Johnathan Hankins, Gruden said they’re also interested in adding Clinton McDonald, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Hankins is visiting the Raiders on Wednesday. The Broncos released McDonald after the preseason slate. If signed, McDonald would add yet another 30-something to Gruden’s free agency haul. He’s 31.
  • The Raiders are in need of help at defensive tackle because of a Justin Ellis injury. The fifth-year veteran defensive tackle strained ligaments in his foot, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’s week-to-week, prompting Oakland to pursue outside help.
  • Adam Jones signed with the Broncos late in the preseason, appearing to represent an upgrade at punt returner and No. 4 cornerback. However, the 35-year-old defender appears to have usurped Tramaine Brock for the nickel job, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com notes. Brock didn’t fare poorly in the preseason and graded as an upper-echelon corner during his last season of full-time work, with the 2016 49ers, but Jones has more experience in Vance Joseph‘s defense from their time together in Cincinnati. If he’s been demoted, it would mark a second straight season the 30-year-old defender’s resided out of a nickel picture. The Vikings carried Brock as a depth piece in 2017.
  • The Rams are going to need a new return man. Pharoh Cooper suffered an ankle injury and will be out for “some time,” Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. Backup return man Michael Thomas is out for a few weeks, Sean McVay said, to prompt Los Angeles to seek alternative options. Cooper served as the Rams’ kick- and punt-return man last season, soaring to All-Pro honors.

RB C.J. Prosise Fighting For Roster Spot

One look at the Seahawks depth chart would lead anyone to infer that running back C.J. Prosise is on the roster bubble. However, it makes it a whole lot easier when the head coach comes out and says it.

Talking to reports this week, Pete Carroll said the former Seattle draft pick is fighting for a spot on the team.

“C.J. has really jumped out, too,” Carroll said (via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times). “He’s looked good now. He knows he’s battling (for a roster spot).’’

Prosise, a third-round pick back in 2016, is battling a number of running backs for a backup gig. First-rounder Rashaad Penny is expected to earn the starting gig, but any of Prosise, Chris CarsonJ.D. McKissic, and Mike Davis could make the team. For what it’s worth, Roster Resource currently lists Prosise fourth on the depth chart.

There was once hope that the 24-year-old would be Seattle’s long-term replacement for Marshawn Lynch. Unfortunately, the young running back has battled injuries during his brief career. Both his 2016 and 2017 seasons ending prematurely due to a fractured scapula and an ankle injury, respectively. In 11 career games (two starts), Prosise has compiled 195 rushing yards (4.8-yards per carry) and one score. He’s added another 23 receptions for 295 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Goodell, Burfict, Prosise

The Jets have no plans to bench Josh McCown in favor of youngster Christian Hackenberg, as NJ.com’s Connor Hughes writes. “This isn’t Triple-A,” quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said Tuesday. “We’re going to play the best players that give us an opportunity to win at all positions. That’s our philosophy. Josh is our starter.”

Though just 1.5 games behind Buffalo for the AFC’s last wildcard spot, New York is sitting last in the East with a 4-6 record and might be better served seeing what the team has in Hackenberg or Bryce Petty sooner rather than later with McCown, at 38 and on a one-year deal, obviously not the team’s future at the position.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • League spokesman Joe Lockhart says the impetus for signing commissioner Roger Goodell to a new deal despite having 18 months remaining on his current contract were a series on notable events on the horizon, according to ESPN’s Jim Trotter (Twitter link) Those milestones include the new collective bargaining agreement in 2020 and network TV deals in 2021 and 2022. “Sense that getting an extension beyond those dates was in the best interest of (NFL),” Lockhart said.
  • Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will not be suspended for making contact with a referee in Sunday’s game vs. Tennessee, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Instead, it will be reviewed using the standard process for a possible fine. Burfict was ejected from the game after picking up a pair of personal-foul penalties on one drive midway through the second quarter.
  • 49ers safety Adrian Colbert could possibly miss the team’s upcoming game with Seattle after breaking his thumb vs. New York, coach Kyle Shanahan tells reporters and ESPN’s Nick Wagoner (Twitter link). The injury, which will require surgery, was sustained early in the first quarter but Colbert managed to play the rest of the way. Should he not be ready for the Seahawks, Antone Exum and Dexter McCoil are potential replacements, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco (Twitter link).
  • Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson is happy to have left Cleveland and hopes Jacksonville can “hang 40 on them” when the team’s meet up this weekend, writes ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. The veteran defender spent his first four seasons with the Browns before joining the Jags in 2016 and apparently still harbors some ill feelings to the organization, which he also criticized for not drafting Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.
  • Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise could return in time for the postseason, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. The coach said the injury will have Prosise sidelined six weeks, but he must sit out eight games after being placed on IR.

Seahawks Place C.J. Prosise On IR

The Seahawks have placed running back C.J. Prosise on injured reserve, per a team announcement. To take his place, running back Mike Davis has been promoted from the practice squad.

C.J. Prosise (Vertical)

Prosise has been dealing with ankle injuries throughout the season. The most recent flare-up happened during the team’s Nov. 9 win over the Cardinals, forcing him from the game midway. His prognosis apparently wasn’t great heading into this weekend’s game against the Falcons, prompting the team to park him on IR for the rest of the year.

Davis, a fourth-round pick of the Niners in 2015, was claimed off waivers by Seattle in May. Although he didn’t make the Week 1 cut, the Seahawks signed him to the taxi squad after releasing him. The 24-year-old had 19 carries for 50 yards in eight games for the Niners last year. He has yet to show much at the NFL level, but the Seahawks believe that he has a bit of potential.

Davis joins Eddie Lacy (recently sidelined with a groin injury), Thomas Rawls, and J.D. McKissic on the RB depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Luck, Bradford, Garrett, Hawks

Despite reports that suggested the contrary, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will not begin practicing this week, head coach Chuck Pagano announced. Pagano gave a somewhat vague answer on Luck earlier this week, suggesting that while the signal-caller was “progressing well,” his return to practice was not guaranteed. Today, Pagano admitted that Luck is “at least” a week away from embarking on a throwing program. Luck, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, was not placed on the physically unable to perform list at the season’s outset, so there are no timetable restrictions on his return.

Here’s more from around the NFL, with a focus on injury situations:

  • Sam Bradford has missed each of the Vikings‘ past two contests as he deals with a knee issue, and while he didn’t practice today, Minnesota is “doing everything it can” to allow Bradford to play against the Lions on Sunday, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Because Bradford isn’t dealing with any structural damage, pain management is the only barrier to him suiting up. If Bradford can’t go, the Vikings will once again turn to backup Case Keenum, who 25 of 43 pass attempts for a career-high 369 yards and three touchdowns against the Buccaneers in Week 3.
  • After hinting last week that defensive end Myles Garrett was “close” to a return, Browns head coach Hue Jackson once again reiterated that the 2017 No. 1 overall pick could attend practice this week, as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. “If he is able to play, we might not play him the whole game,” said Jackson. “So we’ll see how that unfolds if he’s able to go. We’ll find out more as we go through the week.” Garrett has been sidelined for the start of his rookie campaign after suffering an ankle injury during the preseason.
  • The Seahawks are expected to be without running back C.J. Prosise on Sunday as he deals with an ankle ailment, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Prosise hasn’t been a major contributor to Seattle’s offense thus far, as he’s managed only eight rushes and six receptions, but he has played on nearly a third of the club’s offensive snaps. The Seahawks will continue to lean on rookie Chris Carson — with dashes of Eddie Lacy and/or Thomas Rawls — when they face the Colts and their 11th-ranked (by DVOA) rush defense.