Caleb Benenoch

Patriots Place Sony Michel, Shaq Mason, Derek Rivers On Reserve/COVID-19 List

Just as the Patriots took their two highest-profile players off the reserve/COVID-19 list, they placed three more players on it. Sony Michel, Shaq Mason and Derek Rivers landed on the list Saturday, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Michel has tested positive, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (on Twitter). Mason and Rivers have not. Although Michel was on New England’s IR list, this is certainly a situation to monitor for the league. The NFL moved the Patriots’ Week 4 game to Monday after Cam Newton‘s positive test surfaced the previous Saturday and postponed the Denver-New England Week 5 game to the following Monday and then, after another Pats positive test emerged Sunday morning, delayed it another week.

Players do not have to test positive for the coronavirus to be placed on teams’ COVID lists; they can land on there if they are deemed close contacts of someone who has tested positive. The Pats took Newton and Stephon Gilmore off their list this week but still have multiple players on it. James Ferentz and defensive end Byron Cowart were already on New England’s COVID list.

Approaching 4pm CT Saturday, the Pats’ Week 6 game against the Broncos remains scheduled for noon Sunday. The NFL was aware of the team’s impending Saturday adjustment to its COVID list, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). However, the Pats did not resume practice until Thursday — after their game against the Broncos was moved off its Monday date — and canceled their in-person workouts Friday because of another positive test.

Michel has been on New England’s IR list since before their Week 4 game against the Chiefs; Mason missed Week 4 and was questionable for Week 6. The Pats will be down Mason and Ferentz from their starting O-line on Sunday, should the game remain scheduled. Rivers has played 21% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps this season; the defensive end has 1.5 sacks.

To help with depth, the Pats have elevated tackle Caleb Benenoch, tight end Rashod Berry, defensive end Nick Thurman and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber from their practice squad to their active roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: OT Ka’John Armstrong

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/19

Here are today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed off Cowboys‘ practice squad: WR Cyril Grayson

Cowboys Promote LB Chris Covington

Chris Covington is getting another chance on the Cowboys active roster. Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports (via Twitter) that the linebacker has been promoted from the practice squad. Offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch was waived in a corresponding roster move.

The 2018 sixth-round pick has spent his entire career with the Cowboys organization. He appeared in five games as a rookie, compiling one tackle. Otherwise, he was inactive for Dallas’s other 11 contests.

Covington had a standout game in the Cowboys’ preseason opener, finishing with six tackles. However, he was waived by the Cowboys at the end of August, and he subsequently caught on with their practice squad. He had a brief stint on the active roster back in September.

As Gehlken notes, Sean Lee is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams. The linebacker missed an entire week of practice as he recovers from a thigh and pectoral issue. If Lee is forced out of the lineup, then Gehlken opines that undrafted rookie Luke Gifford would earn the majority of snaps at Sam linebacker. Covington would most likely be on the roster for emergency depth.

Connor Williams Suffers ACL Tear

DEC. 1: The Cowboys will place Williams on IR and will sign free agent OL Caleb Benenoch, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes.

NOV. 29: The Cowboys will need a new left guard for the rest of this season. The injury Connor Williams suffered during Dallas’ Thanksgiving game is a torn ACL, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. Jason Garrett subsequently confirmed the injury.

A 2018 second-round pick, Williams serves as the lone rookie-contract blocker on Dallas’ veteran-laden offensive line. He has started 11 games opposite right guard Zack Martin this season, grading as Pro Football Focus’ No. 37 overall guard.

Dallas subbed in Xavier Su’a-Filo after Williams’ injury. Although the veteran had his hands full with Bills first-rounder Ed Oliver on Thursday, Su’a-Filo has 50 games’ worth of starting experience. The former Texans second-round pick signed with the Cowboys in 2018 and started eight games last season and one this year. Su’a-Filo becomes the likely rest-of-season starter. Rookie Connor McGovern is not expected to play this season after being placed on IR in early September, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

The Cowboys refused to deal their 2018 second-round pick to the Seahawks for Earl Thomas, who likely wanted that pick and then some. The No. 50 overall selection became Williams. He is certainly the lowest-profile Cowboys O-line starter, given that the unit houses three of this decade’s top blockers, but has started 21 games in his career.

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NFL Workout Updates: 11/19/19

Today’s updates from the workout circuit:

Buffalo Bills 

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Washington Redskins

Panthers Place WR Chris Hogan On IR, Claim OL Caleb Benenoch

The Panthers have placed wide receiver Chris Hogan on injured reserve and claimed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch off waivers from the Patriots, Carolina announced today.

Hogan, 31, landed with the Panthers during the offseason after spending the previous three seasons with the Patriots. A deep-ball threat who led the NFL in yards per reception in 2016, Hogan wasn’t a large part of Carolina’s offense through four games, as he’d received only five targets while working behind D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Jarius Wright. Per the Panthers, Hogan — who is dealing with a knee injury — has a chance to return later this year.

Benenoch will join his third team of 2019 after previously being waived by the Buccaneers and Patriots. He’ll give Carolina offensive line depth while Greg Little is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Benenoch started all 16 games at right guard for Tampa Bay in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots To Waive OL Caleb Benenoch

The Patriots are waiving offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Garafolo notes that Benenoch worked out for three clubs before signing with the Pats, so he might not be out of work for long. 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown Likely To Win Grievance Against Patriots?]

Reportedly, there were nine NFL teams requesting workouts with Benenoch before he hooked on with the Patriots in mid-September. Plenty of teams need offensive line help, but they might have to get in line – and sweeten the pot – to bring the longtime Bucs lineman into the kitchen.

Benenoch started every game of the 2018 season at right guard for the Bucs and also offers experience at tackle. And, he’s not necessarily a world-beater, but he does have 35 appearances to his credit (22 starts) with decent size at 6’5″ and 305 pounds.

In other New England news, former Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is set to file up to nine appeals relating to contractual matters. That’s one grievance for every team that Benenoch drew interest from earlier this year.

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Patriots Sign Caleb Benenoch

Former Bucs offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch will sign with the Patriots on Tuesday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Nine NFL teams requested workouts with Benenoch, but Rapoport hears the veteran ultimately wanted to play for Pats offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia

The Patriots could really use the help. They were without right tackle Marcus Cannon for Sunday’s win over the Dolphins and, during the game, Isaiah Wynn exited with a toe injury. They’re still awaiting word on the status of both linemen, but they’re unlikely to be at full strength up front for Week 3 against the Jets. (Then again, do they need to be anywhere near full strength to face the Jets?)

Benenoch started every game of the 2018 season at right guard for the Bucs last season but also boasts experience on the outside. There apparently wasn’t a place for him on the Bucs, but the Pats are happy to bring him on board for reinforcement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.