Chase McLaughlin

Vikings Place Danielle Hunter On IR

The Vikings have placed defensive end Danielle Hunter on injured reserve, per a club announcement. To take his place on the roster, they’ve promoted kicker Chase McLaughlin from the practice squad. 

Thanks to the league’s modified IR rules for 2020, Hunter will only be required to sit out for three weeks before returning. It’s not clear if he’ll be ready to go by mid-October, however. All we know for now is that he’ll be out for Sunday’s opener against the Packers, plus the next two games against the Colts and Titans.

Hunter has been limited and out of practice with a rumored neck injury since August 16th. Fortunately, new addition Yannick Ngakoue is there to help keep the pressure on. He’ll be paired with Ifeadi Odenigbo, who will fill-in as the other starting bookend in Hunter’s absence.

The Vikings have four more years of club-friendly control over Hunter, thanks to the five-year, $72MM deal extension he inked in 2018. Now entering his age-26 season, Hunter has 54.5 career sacks to his credit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Sign K Chase McLaughlin To Practice Squad

The Vikings signed kicker Chase McLaughlin, kicker Chase McLaughlin, linebacker Hardy Nickerson, and defensive tackle Albert Huggins to the practice squad on Tuesday. With that, the Vikes have filled out their 16-man unit:

McLaughlin bounced around last year, appearing in games for the Colts, Chargers, and 49ers. He started off the 2019 season with the Vikings’ practice squad, and they’re bringing him back in 2020 to serve as extra insurance for Dan Bailey. Earlier this summer, he lost out on the Colts’ kicking job when Chris Ballard & Co. chose rookie Rodrigo Blankenship.

Colts Place DE Kemoko Turay On PUP List, Cut Roster To 53

Here are the players the Colts cut to slash their roster down to 53 players Saturday:

Waived:

Released:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Turay’s PUP placement will shelve him for at least the season’s first six games. It is a concerning sign for the former second-round pick, who suffered a broken ankle last October. The Colts were counting on him to play a key edge-rushing role, potentially as the counterpart to starter Justin Houston. The team has not been connected to Jadeveon Clowney since March and also avoided investments in other available pass rushers this offseason.

Kelly spent time on Indianapolis’ practice squad last year and could well end up there again. The Colts recently signed Hunt, a former Seahawks backup/spot starter, and added Grimble this offseason. Both Grimble and his ex-Steelers teammate, Roosevelt Nix, failed to make the Colts’ roster. However, despite the players’ extensive experience, each could be placed on Indianapolis’ 16-man practice squad this year. Teams are permitted to carry six practice squad players with unlimited experience.

Colts Waive K Chase McLaughlin

It looks like Rodrigo Blankenship will be the Colts starting kicker in 2020. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that Indianapolis has waived kicker Chase McLaughlin.

Indy has been hunting for their first kicker in the post-Adam Vinatieri era, and there was some hope that it could end up being the 24-year-old McLaughlin. The 2019 undrafted free agent out of Illinois ended up seeing time with five different teams (Bills, Vikings, Chargers, 49ers, and Colts) as a rookie, and he saw playing time for those latter three teams.

In total, McLaughlin appeared in 11 games last season, connecting on 18 of his 23 field goal attempts. In fact, he was perfect in all nine of his attempts from inside the 40, and he also connected on his three field goals of 50+ yards, but he struggled from 40-49 yards out (5 for 10). McLaughlin also converted all 26 of his extra point tries.

Back in April, “Hot Rod” Blankenship joined the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. The kicker earned a number of honors during his collegiate career, including a First-Team All-SEC nod in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reserve/Futures Contracts: 12/30/19

With the regular season behind us, teams can start signing players to reserve/futures contract. This ties the player to the team’s 90-man offseason roster.

Several teams have already started completing these deals, which we’ve compiled below:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC Notes: Colts, Pats, Bills, Adams, Green

Adam Vinatieri landed on the Colts‘ injury report Wednesday, and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes the 24th-year kicker went through an MRI after practice (Twitter link). Despite the scrutiny that’s come due to his poor performance, Vinatieri has kicked in every Colts game this season. But doubt exists about his Sunday status, leading Indianapolis to claim ex-Charger and 49er Chase McLaughlin. Vinatieri is planning to meet with Colts brass Thursday about the next course of action, per Pelissero. Considering his performance and teams not traditionally big on carrying two kickers, it seems IR could be a possibility for the NFL’s all-time scoring kingpin.

Midway through the Week 14 lead-up, let’s take a look at the latest coming out of the AFC. Additional kicker uncertainty exists within this conference.

  • Both the Bills and Patriots attempted to claim McLaughlin, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. New England is without a kicker presently and has used four this season. Kai Forbath replaced Nick Folk, with the latter undergoing an emergency appendectomy, but the Pats cut the former this week. Folk would seem the likely option, but the Pats were prepared to make McLaughlin their fifth 2019 kicker. The Bills made McLaughlin a priority UDFA signing in May but waived him after the preseason. Stephen Hauschka has missed four field goals over the past six Bills games.
  • T.Y. Hilton acknowledged the possibility he will not play again this season. The Colts‘ top skill-position talent re-injured his calf last week and missed Week 13. He did not practice Wednesday. “I’m doing everything I can to get back out there,” Hilton said, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, then I’m going to have to shut it down, but I’m doing everything I can (to return).” Hilton has missed five games this season; the Colts are 1-4 in those contests.
  • Jamal Adams will likely miss the Jets‘ Week 14 game, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The Pro Bowl safety suffered a sprained ankle in Gang Green’s loss in Cincinnati. Adams has not missed a game as a pro.
  • The A.J. Green refrain continues. Zac Taylor said Wednesday he does not expect the Pro Bowl wideout will not return for Week 14. The Bengals have played the entire season without Green, a 2020 free agent-to-be. Given a recent positive progress report, the 31-year-old receiver remains out. A full redshirt season may spook some potential suitors in free agency, but Green returning to a 1-11 Bengals team and suffering another setback would probably affect his market more.

Colts Claim K Chase McLaughlin

The Colts currently have two kickers on their roster. They claimed rookie Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the 49ers, calling Adam Vinatieri‘s status into question.

To make room on their 53-man roster, the Colts waived tight end Matt Lengel. McLaughlin served as a replacement kicker for both the Chargers and 49ers this season. The latter waived him Tuesday.

Vinatieri has trudged through a brutal season and is now on the Colts’ injury report with a knee issue. He made it through a limited practice Wednesday. Considering Vinatieri’s injury- and performance-related concerns, McLaughlin looks set to kick for a third team this season.

In his 14th year with the Colts, Vinatieri has missed eight field goals and six extra points. The future Hall of Famer’s ineffectiveness has undoubtedly affected Indianapolis’ position in the standings. The 46-year-old specialist missed two kicks in Week 13, with one being blocked and returned for a touchdown.

The 24th-year veteran resisted an early-season retirement but has not found the rhythm from prior seasons. His 68% connect rate is the worst of his career, so it will be interesting to see if the Colts carry two kickers into their Week 14 game.

McLaughlin has made 13 of 17 field goals, with all four misses coming from between 40-49 yards, and was successful on all 15 of his extra point tries. The 23-year-old Illinois alum made the only 50-yard kick he’s attempted as a pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/19

We’ll keep track of today’s minor NFL moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed: C Patrick Morris (from Steelers)

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promote TE Kendall Blanton
  • Placed on IR: WR JoJo Natson

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

49ers To Sign K Chase McLaughlin

49ers kicker Robbie Gould suffered a strained quad that could sideline for him Monday night’s game against the Seahawks, so San Francisco is signing fellow kicker Chase McLaughlin, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Gould’s injury is not long-term in nature, per RapSheet, but it could affect his availability for Week 10.

Gould, 36, posted arguably the best season of his career in 2018, converting a league-leading 97.1% of his field goal attempts. He made both of his attempts from 50+ yards, and missed only two extra points. Tagged as a franchise player before agreeing to a four-year extension, Gould’s production has declined this year, as he’s already missed seven field goal attempts in 20 tries.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, is an undrafted rookie free agent who spent time with the Bills before serving as the Chargers’ kicker for the month of October. Playing in relief of the injured Michael Badgley, McLaughlin made six-of-nine field goal attempts and converted all seven of his extra point tries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/1/19

The latest from the workout circuit around the league:

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders