Clayton Geathers

AFC Notes: Colts, Jets, Browns, Titans

After two offseasons featuring extensive injury rehab, Malik Hooker has been a full-fledged participant in the Colts‘ latest program. Surgeries to repair hernia and hip issues delayed Hooker’s Colts work after the franchise used a first-round pick on him in 2017, and rehab from the ACL and MCL tears Hooker suffered that season sidetracked him last year. Nothing is impeding the third-year safety at the moment.

This is probably the best I’ve felt since I left college,” Hooker said, via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “Probably even better than that. For me to finally be able to have a whole offseason to work my body, it’s been great.”

Hooker dealt with nagging hip and foot injuries, the former sidelining him for two regular-season games and the latter keeping him off the field for Indianapolis’ divisional-round loss in Kansas City. Hooker graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 14 overall safety last season, a marketed improvement from his seven-game rookie slate. A full offseason of work figures to benefit the ascending talent.

Here is the latest from the AFC, shifting first to the other Colts safety starter:

  • While Hooker is having a rare stretch free of injury talk, Clayton Geathers is resting after an offseason knee surgery. The fifth-year safety, who recently re-signed with the Colts, said (via Erickson) he underwent a “cleanup” procedure this year. Knee trouble plagued Geathers for much of last season, the defender categorizing it as “a battle” to make it to game days weekly. This marks the second straight offseason Geathers underwent knee surgery. Foot and neck problems have severely constrained the former second-round pick as well during his career. Geathers has not played more than 12 games in a season since 2015, but he said he is feeling better after this latest surgery.
  • The Jets wrapped up their Joe Douglas interview Sunday and, despite the Eagles executive being the favorite to land the vacant GM job, the team will follow through with its Champ Kelly meeting. The Bears’ assistant director of player personnel began his interview process by dining with Jets brass Sunday night, Albert Breer of tweets, before interviewing Monday. Kelly marks the last of the scheduled interviews, following Douglas, Seahawks co-player personnel director Scott Fitterer and Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot in doing so.
  • If the Browns do end up trading Duke Johnson, they appear to have found a successor in second-year UDFA Dontrell Hilliard. Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell praised Hilliard’s ability as a passing-down back and potential slot receiver — essentially Johnson’s role — and Mary Kay Cabot of believes the Browns are confident Hilliard could replace the veteran incumbent. She suggests the team could fetch a fifth-round pick for Johnson, long the subject of trade rumors, but notes Browns brass likely deems that too low a return. Hilliard played in 11 games last season, catching nine passes for 105 yards.
  • The left side of the Titans‘ offensive line appears set, with Rodger Saffold set to play in between Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones. As for the guard who lines up next to right tackle Jack Conklin, Jim Wyatt of tabs Kevin Pamphile as the favorite at this point. Pamphile started 35 Buccaneers games from 2014-17 and was a full-time first-stringer in ’16 and ’17. The former fifth-round pick started two Titans games last year. The Titans did use a Day 2 pick on a guard, No. 82 overall choice Nate Davis out of Charlotte.

Colts To Re-Sign Clayton Geathers

Clayton Geathers is finalizing a deal to return to the Colts, according to a source who spoke with Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star (on Twitter). Terms of the deal are not yet known for the 27-year-old. 

Geathers has dealt with multiple injuries throughout his four-year career in Indianapolis, but has been featured as a starter for three of those seasons. The Colts managed to reel him back in, despite interest from the Cowboys and Bucs.

Geathers played 853 snaps for the Colts last season, his most significant work sample, and ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 51 safety in the NFL. Prior to that, injuries limited the Central Florida product to 14 total games between the 2016-17 seasons.

The Colts have re-signed multiple 2018 starters — cornerback Pierre Desir, defensive lineman Margus Hunt, and guard Mark Glowinski — but each of those players was brought in by the Chris Ballard regime. Those guys may have been prioritized, but the Colts still found room for Geathers, a holdover from the Ryan Grigson era.

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Bucs Meeting With S Clayton Geathers

Clayton Geathers is going through his second free agent meeting of the week, traveling from Dallas to Tampa. The Buccaneers met with the UFA safety on Tuesday, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Limited by injuries during his four-year career with the Colts, Geathers was a starter for most of his time in Indianapolis. While the Colts expressed interest in re-signing the former fourth-round pick, he is being allowed to test the second-wave market.

Geathers played 853 snaps for the Colts last season, his most significant work sample. Injuries limited the Central Florida product to 14 total games between the 2016-17 seasons. Pro Football Focus graded Geathers as the No. 51 safety last season. Geathers, 26, has yet to record an NFL interception.

The Colts have re-signed multiple 2018 starters — cornerback Pierre Desir, defensive lineman Margus Hunt and guard Mark Glowinski — but each of those players was brought in by the Chris Ballard regime. Ryan Grigson drafted Geathers, perhaps impacting the team’s decision to let him test free agency.

Tampa Bay is coming off another poor coverage season, ranking 26th in pass defense — a year after a last-place showing. The Bucs have already signed former Packers safety Kentrell Brice, potentially impacting their decision to add Geathers. Recent draftees Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead comprise Tampa Bay’s top safeties presently.

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Cowboys To Meet With Clayton Geathers

Free agent safety Clayton Geathers will visit the Cowboys on Monday, a source tells’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Geathers isn’t a household name – like one-time Cowboys target Earl Thomas – but he could be a quality addition to the team’s secondary. 

Geathers, 27 in June, started in all 12 of his games for the Colts last season. Over the course of four seasons with Indianpolis, Geathers appeared in 41 games (24 starts) and spent time at both safety spots. Last year, Geathers held down the strong safety position and recorded 89 tackles plus a forced fumble. Last year, Geathers graded out as the No. 51 safety in the NFL out of 93 qualified players, positioning him as a starting-caliber safety, albeit a lower-tier one.

Last year’s safety market was depressed, but high-priced deals for Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, and others indicate that second-tier options such as Geathers could find decent short-term deals. At minimum, guys like Geathers shouldn’t have to wait around until the fall like Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, and others did in 2018.

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Colts Rumors: Doyle, Geathers, Brissett

The Colts will likely be without tight end Jack Doyle for the bulk of the offseason, GM Chris Ballard told reporters on Wednesday. Doyle, of course, missed significant time in the 2018 season thanks to a hip injury and finished out the year on IR thanks to a kidney injury that required surgery.

In six games last year, Doyle caught 26 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Eric Ebron picked up the slack with 66 grabs for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Colts hope to have both players in the mix in two tight end sets, but if Doyle misses time, they have a deep TE unit to draw from including the recently re-signed Ross Travis and former basketball player Mo Alie-Cox.

Here’s more from Indy:

  • The Colts want to re-sign safety Clayton Geathers, GM Chris Ballard says (Twitter link via Mike Chappell of FOX 59). Geathers, 27 in June, amassed 89 tackles and three passes defensed as the Colts’ starting strong safety. However, he missed four games and earned a so-so 67.4 score from Pro Football Focus, positioning him as just the 51st best overall safety in the NFL.
  • Geathers, cornerback Pierre Desir, and wide receiver Dontrelle Inman will be allowed to test the market in March, even though there is interest in bringing each player back, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) hears. Holder adds that safety Matthias Farley will likely be tendered and should return to the squad in 2019.
  • The Colts are still exploring backup quarterbacks and those conversations almost led them to signing Calgary Stampeders QB Bo Levi Mitchell recently, Holder hears (Twitter link). Still, Holder does not expect those conversations to have any direct impact on Jacoby Brissett‘s status for the coming year. The Colts say they’re not shopping Brissett, but if they do, they should find a decent market for his services.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at

Colts Rumors: Brissett, Castonzo, Hooker

Colts owner Jim Irsay said earlier this week that he wouldn’t consider trading backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett in exchange for a first-round pick, and it sounds like new head coach Frank Reich agrees, as Mike Wells of writes. “We actually talked right at the beginning of camp, and I just cannot emphasize enough how fortunate we are to have Jacoby,” Reich said. “I think this guy’s one of the top 20 quarterbacks in the NFL, and we have two of them on this team. It will be a different role for him. We talked about that, and Jacoby is a real pro in every sense of the word.” Brissett, who started 15 games for Indianapolis a season ago, will now act as the club’s No. 2 option behind Andrew Luck, who is recovering from a shoulder injury which cost him the entire 2017 campaign.

Here’s more on the Colts:

  • Left tackle Anthony Castonzo re-injured his hamstring last week and will now be “miss a little bit of time,” Reich told Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Castonzo, who began camp on the physically unable to perform list while dealing with the same injury, has only missed five total games through seven NFL seasons. At this point, it’s unclear if Castonzo is in danger of missing regular season action, but the Colts don’t have much tackle depth behind him. While Indianapolis spent the offseason reinforcing the interior of its offensive line, tackle wasn’t necessarily addressed in the same fashion. Currently, journeyman J’Marcus Webb, who was signed at the end of July, is filling in on the blindside.
  • Speaking of Colts injuries, safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers could both be ready for Week 1 after dealing with their own health questions marks, per Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. Both Hooker, who is recovering from a torn ACL, and Geathers, working his way back from January knee surgery, opened training camp on the PUP list but have since been moved to the active roster. If Hooker and/or Geathers aren’t available to begin the season, the Colts will turn to Matthias Farley (who started 15 games in 2017) or T.J. Green to carry the load.
  • On the Colts’ first unofficial depth chart of the preseason, 2017 second-round pick Quincy Wilson was not listed as a starter at cornerback. Instead, journeyman Pierre Desir and former undrafted free agent Kenny Moore are the current top options in the Indianapolis secondary. In a separate piece, Holder looks at the unlikely ascendance of Moore, whom the Colts picked up via waivers last September.

AFC Notes: Colts, Steelers, Perriman

An Anthony Castonzo stay on the PUP list due to a midsummer hamstring tweak was among the Colts‘ late-offseason concerns, but that won’t end up taking place. The Colts did not end up placing their top left tackle on the PUP list, per Mike Chappell of CBS 4 (Twitter link). However, Chappell notes (via Twitter) Indianapolis did follow through with placing safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers on the PUP. Both were expected to land there, with Hooker (torn ACL, MCL in October) being a bit further away from a return.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on the final offseason Sunday for most teams.

  • August extensions have been one of the Steelers‘ traditions over the years, and an unlikely candidate for a significant pay bump’s emerged. Chris Boswell joined the Steelers midway through the 2015 season, but his production last year (35-for-38 on field goals, four game-winning makes en route to the Pro Bowl) and contract-year status make him a prime preseason-extension candidate, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. The Steelers applied a second-round RFA tender (2.9MM) to Boswell this year, and Rutter believes it will take a guarantee in the $9MM-plus range to keep Boswell in Pittsburgh. Only two kickers — Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker — received eight-figure guarantees, with the Bears’ Cody Parkey guarantee sitting in third.
  • Despite a light investment at linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier, don’t automatically look for the Steelers to deploy Terrell Edmunds as a hybrid safety just yet, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Kaboly expects the first-round pick to play in the William Gay role as a dime contributor as a rookie, with UFA linebacker add Jon Bostic or second-year man Tyler Matakevich replacing Shazier.
  • In what is Breshad Perriman‘s last chance to make an impact with the Ravens, he may be on the outside looking in to make the team, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. In addition to being behind new additions Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, Zreibec notes the 2015 first-round pick is “certainly” trailing Chris Moore and Tim White as well. (Moore is a career backup, and White is a former UDFA who has yet to play in an NFL game.) Considering rookies Jaleel Scott (Round 4) and Jordan Lasley (Round 5) also may be ahead of Perriman, this is a bind for the one-time highly regarded prospect. Ravens officials, however, wonder how much different the Central Florida product’s career would be had he been able to be on the field during the team’s past training camps rather than missing most of those sessions due to injuries, per Zreibec. Perriman looked on the verge of a promising season after shining in the 2017 offseason program, but a hamstring tear put the kibosh on those hopes. Baltimore picked up an option bonus of $649K earlier this week, but that will merely buy the fourth-year pass-catcher this preseason to try and make one final impression.
  • Phillip Lindsay now serves as a wild card in the Broncos‘ running back room. The Colorado product who blazed to a 4.39-second 40-yard dash clocking at his pro day received interest from several other teams before opting to stay in Denver, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Denver native’s $15K signing bonus marked the third-highest in John Elway‘s eight-year tenure at the helm. Klis writes Vance Joseph plans to evaluate the 5-foot-7 speedster for a Darren Sproles-type role as a third-down back and return man. The Broncos have struggled on returns since parting ways with Trindon Holliday after the 2013 season. Primary 2017 return man Isaiah McKenzie fumbled six times as a rookie. The Broncos added two rookies — third-rounder Royce Freeman and seventh-rounder David Williams — to a backfield mix that includes veterans Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson.

Hooker, Geathers Likely To Land On PUP List

While Andrew Luck is expected at long last to be ready to go at Colts training camp, three of his teammates aren’t likely to join him at the Frank Reich-led practices’ outset.

Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, along with safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers, are likely to begin training camp on the PUP list, Mike Chappell of CBS 4 notes.

Castonzo’s issue is merely a hamstring he tweaked this offseason, per Chappell, who adds he should be back soon. Hooker, Indianapolis’ top safety, was not expected to be ready in time for camp. But Chris Ballard provided an update on his initial draft pick as Colts GM.

The second-year Indianapolis GM said Hooker “should return” in time for the second half of the Colts’ preseason. This represents a more definitive timetable for Hooker, who tore an ACL and MCL Oct. 22, 2017. Previous updates were vague and didn’t have the Ohio State safety looking certain for Week 1.

While that’s still uncertain, Ballard supplied more clarity. Geathers, however, has encountered a new problem than the one that plagued him last offseason.

A neck injury shelved Geathers for 10 games last season, but he won’t be landing on the PUP because of it. He underwent knee surgery earlier this offseason and is working his way back, with Ballard indicating the fourth-year safety is 80 to 85 percent at present. Injuries have limited Geathers significantly during his career. He played in just nine games in 2016 and five last year.

The Colts report to camp Wednesday. Players who begin camp on the PUP list can be taken off and deployed in Week 1. If they land on the Reserve/PUP list at the end of the preseason, they are out for the season’s first six weeks.

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Colts Activate Safety Clayton Geathers

The Colts activated safety Clayton Geathers from the Reserve/PUP List the team reported today. It also waived linebacker Joshua PerryClayton Geathers (Vertical)

Geathers, who suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 15 of 2016 vs. Minnesota, underwent surgery on a bulging disk in March and was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list on Sept. 2. The third-year safety returned to practice following the Colts’ 27-0 loss to Jacksonville in Week 7.

A fourth-round selection out of Central Florida in 2015, Geathers appeared in 15 games as a rookie before emerging as the team’s starting free safety in 2016. He tallied 58 tackles, five passes defensed and forced a fumble in nine games before sustaining the injury.

Geathers will be a welcome addition to a defensive secondary that has permitted the second most passing yards in the league.

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