Clayton Geathers

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Koetter, Colts, Jaguars

Preseason playoff projection darlings, the Buccaneers are floundering and reside alone in last place in the NFC South. They are likely going to miss postseason play for the 10th straight year, and second-year coach Dirk Koetter could be on the hot seat. The team’s former OC made an interesting comment about one of the components that could be behind the Bucs’ five-game losing streak.

What happens when a team loses is sometimes (the players) are not confident in the coach, or the scheme, or the other side of the ball or their teammates,’’ Koetter said, via Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. “That’s human nature. That happens in every aspect of life. Do I think there is possibly some of that going on (here)? Yeah, there probably is. The easiest way to fix it is (to) play good team football and get a win.’’

The Bucs will now be playing without Jameis Winston for multiple games and will attempt to snap their skid Sunday without Mike Evans as well.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions in advance of the Week 10 Sunday slate.

  • Andrew Luck is seeking possible non-traditional medical treatments in Europe, but the Colts quarterback’s background in Germany — where he spent much of his childhood — may make him more amenable to these techniques, sports injury expert Will Carroll tweets. The Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder also doesn’t view the 28-year-old quarterback’s decision as an alarming development regarding his progress (Twitter link), assessing it as “incremental” in Luck’s rehab process. The goal regarding Luck’s overseas trip is to not only reduce the pain he’s experiencing but to address muscular function as well, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Clayton Geathers joined Luck in being sidelined for the Colts’ first nine games, but the third-year safety looks set to return after a scary neck injury soon. Stashed on the PUP list, Geathers has looked “tremendous,” per Chuck Pagano (via Holder, on Twitter). Indianapolis hopes to deploy Geathers coming out of its Week 11 bye. He started in nine games last season but has missed over a year of action due to the neck injury he suffered last season. Geathers underwent surgery in March.
  • The Jaguars aren’t ready to activate Dede Westbrook. The rookie wideout won’t play in Jacksonville’s Week 10 game against the Chargers on Sunday, Mike Kaye of First Coast News tweets. The Jags designated Westbrook to return from IR in late October but have just more than a week to decide if he will play for them this season or spend all year on IR.

Colts Down To 53

The Colts made major news on Saturday when they shipped wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to the Patriots in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett. After that, they had the daunting task of bringing their bloated preseason roster down to the 53-man max in time for the deadline. Here’s the complete rundown.

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Released:

Placed On IR:

PUP List:

Richardson, who once had a prominent role with the Rams, joined the Colts on Aug. 29 and was viewed as a longshot to make the final cut.

Colts To Place Clayton Geathers On Reserve/PUP

The Colts will place safety Clayton Geathers on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, meaning he will miss the first six games of the 2017 season, as general manager Chris Ballard announced Monday.Clayton Geathers (Vertical)

Geathers, 25, suffered a season-ending neck injury in December, and subsequently underwent surgery on a bulging disc in March. Last season, Geathers started nine games before being sidelined, managing 58 tackles and five passes defensed while grading as the league’s No. 26 safety, per Pro Football Focus. He’s under contract through the 2018 campaign.

“A lot of this with Geathers is just the healing process,” Ballard said. “He’s in a good frame mentally. He’s worked hard and he’s done everything from a rehab standpoint. I think once we get into September and October it’ll really start ramping up for him.”

As Roster Resource indicates, second-year safety T.J. Green will likely step into the starting lineup in place of Geathers, lining up opposite rookie first-rounder Malik Hooker. Green started four games last year, seeing action on 44% of Indianapolis’ defensive snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Steelers, Browns, Colts

Broncos general manager John Elway is entering a contract year, but the franchise icon expects to sign an extension by the start of the season, reports Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post (Twitter links). “Yep. I don’t think there will be any doubt,” said Elway, who added that he has no interest in leaving Denver. After thriving as the Broncos’ quarterback from 1983-1998, a stretch in which he won two Super Bowls and made nine Pro Bowls, the Hall of Famer’s success has continued with the organization away from the field. Since Elway took over as the Broncos’ GM five years ago, the club has gone 59-31 with four playoff appearances and another Super Bowl title.

More from the AFC:

  • Speaking with reporters (including Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) on Tuesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was unwilling to say whether he plans to continue his career beyond the upcoming season. “I never commit to anyone more than one year,” stated the 35-year-old Roethlisberger, who indicated that he did seriously consider retiring after last season. “Did you think I was lying?” he said.
  • One of Roethlisberger’s teammates, wide receiver Martavis Bryant, realizes his career is hanging in the balance as a result of the two suspensions he has incurred in three years (via Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today). “I know it’s my last chance,” acknowledged Bryant, who’s back after missing all of last season on account of a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. The 25-year-old doesn’t expect any more off-field slip-ups going forward. Regarding the past year, Bryant stated: “I developed better habits. I changed who I hang around. I’ve become a family man. I just had a son, he’s seven weeks. It’s really me developing my life and getting back on track.”
  • Speaking of troubled receivers, the chances of Josh Gordon ever playing for the Browns again are slim to none, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland opines (on Twitter). The suspended Gordon, whom the NFL denied reinstatement two weeks ago, can reapply in the fall.
  • The Colts still aren’t sure when safety Clayton Geathers will return from the season-ending neck injury he suffered last December, writes Kevin Bowen of the team’s website. Geathers, who underwent surgery on a bulging disc in March, started in all nine of his appearances as a second-year player in 2016. If Geathers is healthy during the upcoming season, he should be in line to start alongside free safety Malik Hooker, the Colts’ first-round pick. Otherwise, that role could go to T.J. Green.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Colts Move Jack Mewhort, Clayton Geathers To IR

The Colts will finish their season without the services of two starters after placing left guard Jack Mewhort and free safety Clayton Geathers on IR.

A left knee injury will sideline Mewhort, per the Associated Press, with Geathers being unable to overcome a neck malady that sidelined him for the past two games.

To fill the duo’s roster spots, Indianapolis promoted wide receiver Devin Street from the practice squad and signed safety Duke Williams.

Thought to potentially be out for the entire season with a torn ACL sustained during preseason play, Mewhort returned in time for Week 1 and started for the Colts in each of the 10 games for which he was active. Mewhort has rated as a top-25 guard in each of the past two seasons in the opinion of Pro Football Focus, coming in as the No. 22 player at the interior-line spot after finishing 2015 as the site’s ninth-highest-graded guard.

The former second-round pick has started each of the 40 games he’s played and will be entering a contract year in 2017.

A fourth-rounder last year, Geathers rated as a top-10 run-defending safety, per PFF, but played in just nine games in this his second season. Geathers finished with 58 tackles, five pass deflections and a forced fumble during his first season as a full-time starter, a status he will likely return to in 2017 assuming he overcomes this neck setback.

The 6-7 Colts now have eight players on IR, also placing backup linebacker Curt Maggitt on the season-ending list.

The Bills cut Williams earlier this year after the former fourth-round pick in 2013 made 10 starts for Buffalo from 2014-16.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Mailbags: Browns, Bills, Titans, Raiders, Colts

Earlier today, our Ben Levine pored over some of the NFC mailbags; here are some notes from the AFC side.

  • The Browns‘ front office no longer expects Josh Gordon to operate at the superstar level he showed in 2013, writes Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The longtime Browns scribe notes the team will consider trading the fourth-year wideout who’s perpetually afoul with the league if he proves he can come back to the team sober.
  • Cabot envisions Josh McCown winning seven or eight games if things go well this season and only sees Johnny Manziel re-emerging on the field if the Browns are slumping down the stretch. She does not, however, view Connor Shaw as a legitimate threat to the former Heisman Trophy winner’s backup job, noting third-stringers rarely receive sufficient practice reps and that Manziel will at least work plenty with the scout team as the No. 2 quarterback.
  • The Bills will probably approach Mario Williams about restructuring his $19.4MM cap number, which jumps to $19.9MM in 2016, in order to make room to re-sign Marcell Dareus, writes Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Additionally, the Bills writer suggests extending Matt Cassel ($4.75MM cap number in 2015) if he wins the starting job, and possibly cutting guard Kraig Urbik ($2.2MM), among others, to clear a payment path for Dareus to join Williams as one of the league’s highest-paid defenders.
  • Zach Brown appears to be fully recovered from the torn pectoral injury that ended his 2014 campaign after just four snaps, offers Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Coverage hasn’t been an issue for the fourth-year linebacker that came to the Titans as a second-round pick, but run-stoppage consistency has, per Kuharsky.
  • ESPN.com Raiders reporter Bill Williamson doesn’t think the Raiders will add another guard to compete on the right side before training camp, with the team being satisfied with J’Marcus Webb, Khalif Barnes and rookie Jon Feliciano. With Gabe Jackson coming off a solid rookie slate, the right side is indeed in need of a production uptick. Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which took scant pleasure in watching the Raiders last year, tagged Barnes as the Raiders’ worst starting lineman in 2014. Waived by the Vikings after being beaten on a blocked field goal in December, Webb’s started just one game since 2012 but is being offered the chance to compete at guard rather than his customary tackle spot.
  • Michael Crabtree‘s in a year-long preseason of sorts, with each game serving as part of the inconsistent wideout’s audition to either return to the Raiders or earn the long-term contract he coveted this offseason, writes Williamson.
  • Fourth-round safety Clayton Geathers has the talent to usurp Dwight Lowery in the Colts‘ starting secondary, writes ESPN.com’s Mike Wells. Wells viewed the Central Florida rookie as the No. 2 first-year attraction behind Phillip Dorsett and notes that Chuck Pagano mentioned the possibility of Geathers working as a dime linebacker.

Colts Sign Five Draft Picks

The Colts came to terms with five rookies on Wednesday, according to Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central. Safety Clayton Geathers (round 4), defensive tackle David Parry (round 5), running back Josh Robinson (round 6), linebacker Amarlo Herrera (round 7), and offensive tackle Denzelle Good (round 7), are all officially in the fold in Indianapolis.

Geathers, a UCF product, has football in his blood with five other family members that have made it to the NFL.

It’s just a blessing to have that family pedigree,” Geathers told Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “Just to learn from them and get advice from them. It’s just a blessing. To continue the Geathers legacy is an honor … Seeing my uncles and cousins, I wanted that same thing. Just work hard. Just to have them around to give me advice, go to games and see how everything works. It was just an honor.”

The only difference between Geathers and the rest of his clan is that he’s the only one that doesn’t play on the defensive line. Clifton Geathers, a defensive end, is still active in the NFL after signing with the Steelers in April.

Today’s deals leave the Colts with just three unsigned rookies: wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (round 1), cornerback D’Joun Smith (round 3), and defensive end Henry Anderson (round 3).

Draft Notes: Rams, Winston, Vikings, Saints

Despite already having a starting-caliber quarterback in Nick Foles, the Rams are doing their due diligence with the position as the NFL draft nears. They worked out Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota for roughly an hour Thursday, tweets the NFL Network’s Albert Breer. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted earlier Thursday that, in addition to Mariota, the Rams will work out Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson and UCLA’s Brett Hundley in the coming days. Mariota and Winston should be long gone by the time the Rams’ first-round selection, the 10th overall pick, rolls around, while the rest are viewed as options in the second round and beyond.

More draft-related news:

  • NFL teams were already aware of Jameis Winston’s latest legal troubles before the news broke Thursday and those issues won’t affect his draft status, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (video link).
  • The Vikings have done their homework on a pair of safety prospects, Louisville’s James Sample and Central Florida’s Clayton Geathers, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). Both are projected as mid-round picks.
  • Although West Virginia defensive end Shaquille Riddick wasn’t among the 323 prospects invited to February’s scouting combine, he has drawn pre-draft interest from the Giants, Cardinals, Eagles, Texans, Saints, Bears and Chiefs, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Riddick told Ulrich that is using the combine snub as motivation. “Wherever I go, I’m going to be a surprise that they’re going to benefit from,” said Riddick. “And whoever doesn’t select me, they’re going to have to worry about me terrorizing their quarterbacks.”
  • The Saints will host their local pro day on Friday, according to Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com. Per Woodbery, at least a dozen players will participate. Only those who grew up within a 40-mile radius of New Orleans or attended college within the same distance are eligible to partake.